Resilience-based Diabetes Self-management Education: Perspectives From African American Participants, Community Leaders, and Healthcare Providers

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this qualitative, focus group study was to further refine the Resilience-based Diabetes Self-management Education (RB-DSME) recruitment process and intervention, build greater trust in the community, and identify strategies to enhance its sustainability as a community-based intervention in African American church settings.

Methods

Six 2-hour focus groups (N = 55; 10 men and 45 women) were led by a trained moderator with a written guide to facilitate discussion. Two sessions were conducted with individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) who participated in previous RB-DSME pilot interventions and their family members, two sessions with local church leaders, and two sessions with community healthcare providers who care for patients with T2DM. Two independent reviewers performed content analysis to identify major themes using a grounded theory approach. The validity of core themes was enhanced by external review and subsequent discussions with two qualitative methods consultants.

Results

There was expressed interest and acceptability of the RB-DSME program. Church connection and pastor support were noted as key factors in building trust and enhancing recruitment, retention, and sustainability of the program. Core themes across all groups included the value of incentives, the need for foundational knowledge shared with genuine concern, teaching with visuals, dealing with denial, balancing the reality of adverse consequences with hope, the importance of social support, and addressing healthcare delivery barriers.

Conclusion

Focus groups documented the feasibility and potential effectiveness of RB-DSME interventions to enhance diabetes care in the African American community. In clinical practice, inclusion of these core themes may enhance T2DM self-care and treatment outcomes.

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