Religion and self-management of Thai Buddhist and Muslim women with type 2 diabetes

Authors

  • Pranee C Lundberg PhD, BSc, RN,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    • Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
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  • Supunnee Thrakul MS, BSc, RN

    Assistant Professor
    1. Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Ramathibodi School of Nursing, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
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Correspondence: Pranee C Lundberg, Associate Professor, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 564, SE-751 22 Uppsala, Sweden. Telephone: +46184716612.

E-mail: pranee.Lundberg@pubcare.uu.se

Abstract

Aims and objectives

To report of a qualitative study of how religion affects the self-management of Thai Buddhist and Muslim women with type 2 diabetes.

Background

The importance of diabetes self-management is well recognised. However, research on such self-management in Thailand is scarce, in particular on the influence of religion on the self-management of Thai Buddhist and Muslim women with type 2 diabetes.

Design

A descriptive qualitative study was conducted.

Methods

Purposive convenience sampling was used, and 48 women, 19 Buddhist and 29 Muslim, aged from 28–80 years, participated. Data were collected in 2008–09 and analysed by use of manifest and latent content analysis.

Results

Four themes of the influence of religion on the self-management among Thai women with type 2 diabetes emerged: religion – a way of coping with diabetes, spiritual practice – a help for disease control, spiritual practice – an effort to struggle with everyday life, and support from family – a cultural practice.

Conclusions

The Buddhist and Muslim women had self-management capabilities that were often related to their religions. However, many of them had poor control of their blood sugar levels and needed assistance.

Relevance to clinical practice

Reference to religion and spiritual practice can be an effective means of helping diabetes patients better manage their disease and change their lifestyles. Furthermore, family and economic and social environments should be taken into account both in care and in interventions aimed at helping patients cope and empowering them to control their disease.

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