“Give Me Some Sugar!” The Diabetes Self-Management Activities of African-American Primary Caregiving Grandmothers

Authors


Correspondence
Dr. Dana L. Carthron, Winston-Salem State University, School of Health Sciences, Division of Nursing, F.L. Atkins Room 334, 601 Martin L. King Jr., Dr., Winston-Salem, NC 27110. E-mail: carthrondl@wssu.edu

Abstract

Purpose: To compare the diabetes self-management activities of African American primary caregiving grandmothers before and after the initiation of caregiving and to compare the diabetes self-management activities of African American primary caregiving grandmothers to diabetic women who were not caring for their grandchildren.

Design: Using a cross-sectional, descriptive design, 68 African American women 55 to 75 years of age were recruited as part of a larger study examining the impact of caregiving responsibilities on the diabetic health of African American primary caregiving grandmothers. Each participant was asked the frequency of their performance of six self-management activities. Caregiving grandmothers were asked about these activities before and after the initiation of caregiving.

Results: Dependent and independent t-tests with Bonferroni correction were used to analyze the data. Statistically significant differences were noted in diet (t=4.400, p=.000) and self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG; t=3.484, p=.001) before and after the initiation of caregiving. For the caregiver versus non-caregiver comparison, statistically significant differences were noted in SMBG (t=−3.855, p=.000) and eye examinations (t=−3.211, p=.001).

Conclusions: The findings provide preliminary data to support further research examining the self-management activities of diabetic African American primary caregiving grandmothers. Diabetic African American primary caregiving grandmothers may have a decreased ability to integrate self-management activities into their daily patterns of living. Additional research is needed to determine what factors prevent this population from performing these tasks routinely.

Clinical Relevance: African American primary caregiving grandmothers were found to have more difficulty performing some of their self-management activities, which may severely impact their overall diabetic health.

Ancillary