Measuring Type 2 diabetes mellitus knowledge and perceptions of risk in middle-class African Americans

Erica Charlot Spears, Jeffrey J. Guidry, Idethia S. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a paucity in the literature examining the African American middle-class. Most studies of African Americans and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) have concentrated on lower-SES individuals, or make no distinction between African Americans of varying socio-economic positions. Middle-class African Americans are vulnerable in ways often overlooked by researchers. This study quantitatively examines specific T2DM knowledge and perceptions of risk in middleclass African Americans (N=121). The majority of respondents, 70.2%, were unable to correctly identify all the warning signs of T2DM development. Only 3.3% of respondents correctly identified all risk factors provided as 'possible causes' of T2DMdevelopment. The difference between those participants who considered themselves to be at risk for T2DM development and their level of risk, according to the American Diabetes Associations' risk assessment, was not statistically significant (P=0.397). However, there were statistically significant differences between participants' perceptions of their weight and clinical definitions of overweight, a major risk factor in T2DM development, based on BMI (P=0.000). Middle-class African Americans are not inherently protected or exempt from developing T2DM. This study demonstrates gaps in knowledge and overall incongruent levels of perceived susceptibility, suggesting a need for additional research and health education in this segment of the population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Education Research
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

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African Americans
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
chronic illness
middle class
Weight Perception
Health Education
American
risk assessment
health promotion
Economics
Research Personnel
cause
Research
Population
economics
Surveys and Questionnaires

Cite this

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abstract = "There is a paucity in the literature examining the African American middle-class. Most studies of African Americans and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) have concentrated on lower-SES individuals, or make no distinction between African Americans of varying socio-economic positions. Middle-class African Americans are vulnerable in ways often overlooked by researchers. This study quantitatively examines specific T2DM knowledge and perceptions of risk in middleclass African Americans (N=121). The majority of respondents, 70.2{\%}, were unable to correctly identify all the warning signs of T2DM development. Only 3.3{\%} of respondents correctly identified all risk factors provided as 'possible causes' of T2DMdevelopment. The difference between those participants who considered themselves to be at risk for T2DM development and their level of risk, according to the American Diabetes Associations' risk assessment, was not statistically significant (P=0.397). However, there were statistically significant differences between participants' perceptions of their weight and clinical definitions of overweight, a major risk factor in T2DM development, based on BMI (P=0.000). Middle-class African Americans are not inherently protected or exempt from developing T2DM. This study demonstrates gaps in knowledge and overall incongruent levels of perceived susceptibility, suggesting a need for additional research and health education in this segment of the population.",
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Measuring Type 2 diabetes mellitus knowledge and perceptions of risk in middle-class African Americans. / Spears, Erica Charlot; Guidry, Jeffrey J.; Harvey, Idethia S.

In: Health Education Research, Vol. 33, No. 1, 01.02.2018, p. 55-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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