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Advisor: Rickie Brawer, PhD, MPH, Thomas Jefferson University.


Diabetes is a progressive disease that can lead to debilitating complications and premature death if not well controlled. Hispanics are disproportionately affected by this disease, have poorer glycemic control, and suffer more complications than other groups. The goal of this study was to collect information about the knowledge, beliefs, and practices among type 2 diabetic patients of the Puentes de Salud clinic using focus groups. Type 2 diabetic patients were identified using electronic chart audits and recruited to participate by telephone. All participants completed informed consent and a demographic survey prior to the focus groups. Focus groups were conducted in Spanish, audio recorded, and then transcribed. A total of 12 patients participated in two focus groups stratified by level of glucose control as determined by A1c levels. Transcripts were translated into English and analyzed for themes and content. Coding schemes were established through research team consensus. Themes were analyzed for strength within and across groups. Major themes included factors that mediate disease management, life changes, causes, symptoms, and reactions to diagnosis. Within these themes emerged differences and similarities between groups around dietary changes, approaches to medication, denial of diagnosis, and social support. Participants also provided information about their perceived needs in the clinic and in future programming. Information collected in this project will be shared with the Puentes de Salud to help them continue to care for type 2 diabetics in a culturally competent manner and design future programs to meet the specific needs of this community.