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Differences in health and illness beliefs in zimbabwean men and women with diabetes
School of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden.
School of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden.
School of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden.
2012 (English)In: Open Nursing Journal, ISSN 1874-4346, Vol. 6, 117-125 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explored beliefs about health and illness that might affect self-care and health-seeking behaviours in Zimbabwean men and women with diabetes. Gender differences were indicated in a previous study but their extent has not been studied. The present study used a qualitative descriptive design with semi-structured interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomena. The sample consisted of 21 participants, 11 females aged 19-61 years (Median 44 years) and 10 males aged 22-65 years (Median 52 years). Qualitative content analysis was used. Health was described as freedom from diseases and enjoying well-being. Both males and females displayed limited knowledge about diabetes and dissimilarities in health-seeking behaviours. Women, in contrast to men, were more active in self-care and used various measures besides drugs as they related to a higher extent the cause of diabetes to supernatural factors like gods and witches. They sought information from self-help groups and help from outside the professional health sector like healers in the folk sector. Prolonged economic disruption also had negative effects towards maintenance of healthy life-styles as both men and women struggled to get money for food and drugs. Thus, the study highlighted that knowledge about diabetes and its management are important for self-care. There is therefore need to develop acceptable and affordable gender- sensitive diabetes care programmes that enhance patient participation, empowerment and promotion of health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bussum, AG, Netherlands: Bentham Open , 2012. Vol. 6, 117-125 p.
Keyword [en]
Diabetes mellitus, gender, health/illness beliefs, health-seeking behaviour, self-care, Zimbabwe
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-101439DOI: 10.2174/1874434601206010117PubMedID: 22977655OAI: diva2:666266
Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-11-22 Last updated: 2014-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Hjelm, Katarina
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