Office of Health Disparities Research

Addressing Health Disparities is Our Priority.

September 11, 2014

Let’s Talk: Focus Groups to Inform a Digital Diabetes Storytelling Intervention

By OHDR Admin

Njeru_Jane_W_09A-15197051-Native FileJane W. Njeru, M.B., Ch.B.

Senior Associate Consultant, Primary Care Internal Medicine
Rochester campus of Mayo Clinic


Racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, including immigrants and refugees, have a higher incidence of diabetes and worse outcomes from the disease than the general population. The mechanisms that contribute to this disparity are complex, encompassing sociocultural factors, health literacy and health behavior. Innovative approaches, developed with the affected communities, are needed to create and sustain interventions that address this disparity. Digital dissemination of patients sharing their stories about overcoming obstacles to chronic disease management is a promising approach to reduce health disparities. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has been successful in targeting health issues among immigrant populations by addressing health behaviors in a sociocultural context, and the Rochester Healthy Community Partnership (RHCP) is a robust CBPR partnership in Rochester, Minnesota. The goal of this project is for RHCP community and academic partners to develop a culturally tailored digital storytelling intervention to reduce diabetes-related disparities among two afflicted immigrant groups. Survey data collection is currently ongoing to understand knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding type II diabetes among Hispanic and Somali immigrants. The aims of this proposal are to use focus groups to: 1) elucidate the lived experience of effective type II diabetes management among Hispanic and Somali immigrants; 2) identify exemplary diabetes “storytellers” among participants; and 3) develop an interview manual to lead digitally recorded participant stories about effective type II diabetes management. The resulting data, product and process will inform development and testing of the digital storytelling intervention, which will be the focus of an NIH R01 application (PA-13-292).

Tags: diabetes, health disparities, Hispanic immigrants, Jane W. Njeru M.B. Ch.B., Mayo Clinic, pilot project 2014, project, Projects, Rochester Healthy Community Partnership, Somali immigrants

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