Purpose: The prevalence of diabetes among Hispanics in Washington State is 30% greater than it is for non-Hispanic whites. Hispanics also have higher rates of diabetes-related complications and mortality due to the disease. Although interventions have been developed for the Hispanic community, studies in rural settings are limited. To address this we conducted a study to identify factors associated with general diabetes knowledge in a rural Hispanic population.
Methods: This study was conducted as part of a larger project in partnership with a local community hospital in Washington State's Lower Yakima Valley. Diabetes knowledge was assessed as part of a screening survey using 5 statements selected from the Diabetes Knowledge Questionnaire. Men and women (N = 1,297) between the ages of 18 and 92 attending community-oriented events took part in the survey. Gender, education, age, birthplace, diabetic status, and family history of diabetes were tested as predictors of diabetes knowledge.
Findings: Overall, general knowledge was high with 71%-84% of participants responding correctly to 4 of 5 statements, while only 17% of participants responded correctly to a fifth statement. Although no variable was associated with all statements, family history, gender, and education were most frequently associated with knowledge. Diabetic status, age, and birthplace were less often or not associated with the knowledge statements.
Conclusion: Contrary to expectations, having a diagnosis of diabetes was not among the factors most frequently associated with diabetes knowledge. Future research should investigate the roles of family history, gender, and diabetic status as conduits of diabetes education among rural Hispanics.