Title: Diabetes knowledge and attitudes towards prevention and health promotion: qualitative study in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Authors: Nabil Sulaiman, Aisha Hamdan, Dhafir Abdul-Latif Mahmood Al-Bedri, Doris Young

Addresses: Department of Family and Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. ' Department of Family and Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. ' Al-Qassimi and Al-Kuwait Hospital, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. ' Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, 200 Berkeley Street, Carlton, Vic 3053, Australia

Abstract: This study explored the knowledge of and attitudes towards diabetes, diabetes prevention and management, and health promotion of patients attending medical centres in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Forty-one patients participated in an in depth interview. Common themes were drawn upon and reported. The understanding of the causation of diabetes varied, including genetics, stress and lifestyle. Most participants linked diabetes to lifestyle factors such as diet, lack of physical activity and obesity. These were, in turn, specifically linked to environmental aspects as well as the cultural framework. Cultural and contextual factors may hinder the implementation of behaviour change. With the understanding of these constraints, the necessity of developing creative strategies becomes evident. Suggestions are provided to enhance diabetes education, prevention and health promotion building upon the strengths within this unique cultural context.

Keywords: diabetes prevention; diabetes management; diabetes education; intervention; health promotion; Arab culture; context; knowledge; attitudes; cultural framework; qualitative study; diet; physical exercise; United Arab Emirates; UAE; lifestyle factors; obesity; public health.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFSNPH.2009.026921

International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, 2009 Vol.2 No.1, pp.78 - 88

Available online: 08 Jul 2009 *

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