A scoping review on the experiences and preferences in accessing diabetes-related healthcare information and services by British Bangladeshis

Authors


Rahul Alam
School of Nursing
Midwifery & Social Work
University of Manchester
Jean McFarlane Building
University Place
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
UK
E-mail: Rahul.Alam@manchester.ac.uk

Abstract

Diabetes is a chronic condition requiring lifelong self-management. Patients are encouraged to access appropriate services to facilitate optimum management of diabetes. Although equitable access to healthcare in the United Kingdom is a legal right, not all groups and individuals in the community experience equity. Despite various equality laws and numerous efforts to minimise health inequalities related to access, particular community groups are more likely to experience inequitable access than others. The Bangladeshi community are one such community who experience some of the worst diabetes-related health outcomes in the United Kingdom. Little is known about their experiences and preferences in accessing diabetes healthcare information and services. Consequently, we undertook a scoping review of the literature by following the York Scoping Reviews Framework to identify the experiences and preferences of Bangladeshi patients and carers when gaining access to diabetes-related healthcare information and services. We identified eight articles and reported our results in relation to four domains of access: health service availability, health service utilisation, health service outcomes and the notion of equity. The review identified that language and literacy issues were the most common barriers hindering access to information and services. Patient knowledge regarding diabetes and its management was generally low, and friends and family were frequently being used as information sources and as informal interpreters. Additionally, there were feelings of isolation from mainstream information and services possibly resulting in the high prevalence of depression in the Bangladeshi community with women more affected than men. Social networks combined with religious and cultural beliefs as well as wider societal duties played a crucial role in accessing information and services for this population, and the identification of these issues merit further research and are possible avenues towards improved access to healthcare information and services for the Bangladeshi population.

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