Background: Type-2 diabetes (T2D) is one of the most prevalent chronic and noncommunicable conditions both domestically and globally. The objective of this descriptive study was to examine how perceived social support impacted self-care management behavior among female African American and Caribbean populations.
Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional study recruited 42 African American and Caribbean women diagnosed with T2D (M = 69.1, SD = 12.0). Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted to explore the relationship between (1) demographic characteristics, (2) desired and received social support variables, and (3) self-management behaviors.
Results: Caribbean women residing in the United States were more likely to follow general diet (M = 5.38, SD = 1.43) and to engage in physical activity (M = 4.31, SD = 2.39), whereas African American women were more likely to follow a specific diabetes diet (M = 3.79, SD = 1.60) and to monitor their glucose (M = 5.70, SD = 1.75). Caribbean women living in the United States Virgin Islands were more likely to follow recommended foot care procedure (M = 4.65, SD = 1.36). A negative correlation occurred between female participants exercising and the desired support in exercising. Women who reported that they desired more support with physical activity exercised less (r s= 0.34; P = 0.04). No relationship was found between foot care procedure and demographic characteristics or social support variables (i.e. desired or received).
Conclusion: This study suggests directions for future studies that would examine the dynamics of social support and T2D self-management behaviors, and this study might be relevant to other Caribbean and African American communities with T2D both in North America and the Caribbean.