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Keywords:

  • knowledge networks;
  • prevention;
  • diabetes;
  • community

Abstract

This article introduces a new theory of geographical analysis, sociospatial knowledge networks, for examining and understanding the spatial aspects of health knowledge (i.e., exactly where health beliefs and knowledge coincide with other support in the community). We present an overview of the theory of sociospatial knowledge networks and an example of how it is being used to guide an ongoing ethnographic study of health beliefs, knowledge, and knowledge networks in a rural community of African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans at high risk for, but not diagnosed with, type 2 diabetes mellitus. We believe that the geographical approach to understanding health beliefs and knowledge and how people acquire health information presented here is one that could serve other communities and community health practitioners working to improve chronic disease outcomes in diverse local environments. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 25:159–170, 2002