Understanding the essence and lived experience of self-care management among African-American men living with type 2 diabetes Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractPurpose: To explore, understand and describe the lived experience of African-American men (AA men) living with type 2 diabetes, with emphasis on capturing perceptions of challenges, facilitators and perceived barriers associated with self-care management. Materials and Methods: Participants (n = 19) were AA men ages 35-69 years, who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Participants were recruited via community outreach efforts, including barbershops and churches located in predominantly African-American communities in southeast US. Upon consent, individual interviews were conducted, audio-recorded and subsequently transcribed. Transcripts were analyzed using a phenomenological approach, and focused on identifying common themes among the descriptions of AA mens experiences specific to type 2 diabetes. Results: AA men perceived their experience of managing type 2 diabetes as tedious, complicated, demanding, and frustrating. Common themes included the perception of family histories and personal behaviors as causes or contributors to the development of diabetes, albeit there was lack of clarity regarding biological versus behavioral familial contributions. Other theses included fears related to long-term complications of type 2 diabetes, and the critical role of social support as a factor assisting with self-care management. Limb amputation, insulin injections and vision changes were fears related to having type 2 diabetes. Commensurately, important referent others (e.g., family and close friends) provided critical encouragement and support toward managing their diabetes. Conclusions: Future diabetes research and education should give attention to how masculinity may have a powerful influence on diabetes management behavior among African-American mens as well as utilizing preventive health services.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Social Health and Diabetes

author list (cited authors)

  • Sherman, L., McKyer, E., Singer, J., Larke, A., & Guidry, J.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Sherman, Ledric||McKyer, E||Singer, John||Larke, Alvin||Guidry, Jeffrey

publication date

  • January 2014