Factors affecting the self-monitoring of blood glucose levels in Aboriginal patients: findings from a remote community

Taylor, S., Fatima, Y., and Solomon, S. (2017) Factors affecting the self-monitoring of blood glucose levels in Aboriginal patients: findings from a remote community. Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, 17 (3). pp. 1-8.

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Objective: Despite self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) being highly recommended it appears that many Aboriginal patients do not conduct SMBG. This study investigated factors affecting SMBG in rural and remote Aboriginal patients.

Methods: Two focus groups sessions were conducted with nine diabetic Aboriginal adults (age>18 years) using insulin preparations. Focus group discussions were facilitated by a pharmacist and two Aboriginal researchers. Discussions were audio-recorded and later transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed to identify enablers and barriers.

Results: Participants identified multiple barriers, e.g. access and relevant education to use glucometers and understand readings, poor continuity of care and consistency of advice, lack of comfortable environment, stress and emotions, lack of clear communication between health care providers and patients. Facilitators that encouraged participants to practice SMBG included: knowledge of diabetes and its manifestations; rituals and routines.

Conclusions: Health care providers should understand patients’ knowledge of diabetes, challenges with SMBG, and the emotions associated with SMBG and value the role of culturally respectful interaction on patient motivation to conduct SMBG.

Implications: Aboriginal patients are often stigmatised and blamed for not looking after their diet and monitoring blood glucose. However, health care providers should understand that there are issues regarding the availability, functionality of glucometers as well as Aboriginal patients’ understandings of blood glucose readings. Therefore, appropriate educational interventions aiming patient awareness and empowerment are needed to improve SMBG.

Item ID: 49910
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 1445-7253
Keywords: blood glucose self-monitoring; diabetes melitus; Aboriginal patients; qualitative study
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2017 03:39
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 100%
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