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Keywords:

  • African Americans;
  • diabetes education;
  • glycaemic index;
  • nursing;
  • type 2 diabetes

waller b. & tzeng h.-m. (2010) Glycaemic index knowledge and use among African Americans with type 2 diabetes. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(5), 1102–1108.

Abstract

Aims.  This exploratory pilot study investigated the extent to which African Americans with type 2 diabetes receive information on the glycaemic index and their knowledge of the index and use of this information.

Background.  The growing impact of type 2 diabetes has sparked the need for evidence-based policies that result in increased diabetes self-care among affected individuals. Because of the disproportionate prevalence and severity of type 2 diabetes among African Americans, specific focus on this population is warranted. The glycaemic index is a useful dietary tool for controlling blood glucose levels. However, information on knowledge and use of the glycaemic index among African Americans with type 2 diabetes is lacking.

Methods.  The data source was a convenience sample of 60 African American adults with type 2 diabetes from three churches located in the Midwest region of the United States. This was an exploratory study using survey design. Data collection was performed during the period from November 2007 to March 2008.

Results.  Although 73% of participants attended diabetes education classes, only 50% reported receiving education about the glycaemic index. Those attending diabetes education classes had a statistically significant higher knowledge of the glycaemic index and use of it. No statistically significant differences were found in age, gender, education, income or body mass index on the participants’ knowledge of glycaemic index or use of the glycaemic index.

Conclusion.  Use of certified nurse diabetes educators may be a positive step in providing consistent and up-to-date diabetes care information to African Americans with type 2 diabetes.