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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Diabetes Spectrum.

Volume 26, Issue 1, December 2013, Pages 29-33.

The published version is available at DOI:10.2337/diaspect.26.1.29. Copyright © American Diabetes Association


Objective. The purpose of this observational study was to describe the associations between cultural beliefs that are prevalent in older African Americans and adherence to diabetes self-management (DSM) behaviors.

Methods. In a community population of 110 older African Americans with type 2 diabetes, the investigators administered surveys that assess present time orientation (PTO), future time orientation (FTO), and religiosity, as well as exercising habits, reading food labels, and checking blood glucose.

Results. Participants who reported regularly exercising had significantly lower PTO scores and higher FTO and religiosity scores than participants who did not regularly exercise. Similarly, participants who reported reading food labels had lower PTO scores and higher FTO scores but did not differ in religiosity. Participants who reported checking blood glucose levels tended to have higher FTO scores but did not differ in PTO or religiosity. Participants who engaged in all three diabetes self-management behaviors had significantly lower PTO scores and higher FTO and religiosity scores.

Conclusion. These data indicate that cultural diversity within older African Americans may influence DSM behaviors and contribute to disparities in diabetes outcomes in this high-risk population. Efforts to prevent complications of diabetes might benefit from consideration of these cultural factors.