SURF  |   June 2018
Perceptions of and Attitudes Toward Diabetes Among Chinese Americans
Author Notes
  • From the Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, California (Student Doctor Lee), and Olive View-UCLA Medical Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (Dr Woo). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Hannah Lee, MS, OMS IV, Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, 309 E Second St, Pomona, CA 91766-1854. Email: hannahkang011@gmail.com
     
Article Information
Endocrinology / Diabetes
SURF   |   June 2018
Perceptions of and Attitudes Toward Diabetes Among Chinese Americans
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2018, Vol. 118, e33-e40. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.087
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2018, Vol. 118, e33-e40. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2018.087
Abstract

Context: Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a global health issue among Asians, with rising prevalence and increasing disparities in proper disease management. However, studies on the perceptions of and attitudes toward diabetes, conducted to improve diabetes disparities, are disproportionately limited in Asian populations compared with other minority populations in the United States.

Objective: To determine Chinese Americans’ perceptions of and attitudes toward diabetes.

Methods: Chinese Americans from the greater Los Angeles, California, area were asked to complete a survey. The survey was a self-administered 15-item true/false questionnaire to assess the respondents’ perceptions of and attitudes toward diabetes. The results of the questionnaire were grouped by age: younger adults (aged <55 years) and older adults (aged ≥55 years). A subset of respondents in each age group was matched based on gender and education, and their responses were analyzed for differences in attitudes toward diabetes. Two-tailed t test and χ2 test were used to compare continuous variables and categorical variables, respectively. Results with P<.05 were considered significant.

Results: A total of 449 of 485 Chinese Americans (93%) completed the survey. Among matched respondents (n=91 in each age group), more older respondents than younger respondents believed that (1) research on diabetes is solely beneficial for profiting pharmaceutical companies (23.1% vs 6.6%; P=.002) and (2) health insurance policies should not cover any costs of diabetes-related illnesses (28.6% vs 15.4%; P=.032).

Conclusions: Older Chinese Americans were more likely to hold stigmatized negative perceptions of and attitudes toward diabetes in relation to pharmaceutical companies and health insurance policies. Considering that an individual's belief system largely influences self-care behaviors, actions should be taken to minimize negative perceptions of and attitudes toward diabetes.

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