Marginalized racial/ethnic minorities have disproportionately high rates of type 2 diabetes prevalence, complications and mortality. Researchers and policymakers have typically addressed these disparities using a deficit-based discourse focused on individual/cultural deficiencies or failure. A mixed-methods study was used to compare the deficit discourse to the perspectives of adults with diabetes in the Arab minority in Israel, using data from 10 focus groups (5 men’s, 5 women’s) and 296 quantitative in-person surveys. Both qualitative and quantitative data were triangulated. In addition, multivariable regression models tested associations between diabetes management perspectives and participant characteristics. Contrary to the deficit-based characterizations of patients as fatalistic and unknowledgeable, participants viewed diabetes as a chronic disease with serious complications. They expressed more support for patient responsibility in diabetes management than for passive fatalism, and were less fatalistic as educational level and adequacy of diabetes self-care training increased. The impact of social/environmental barriers and changing cultural norms on lifestyle behaviors was highlighted. Over 95% used prescription medications for diabetes management, although 35% reported economic barriers. The deficit discourse is not well-aligned with Arab patients’ evolving perceptions and needs, and has deflected attention from the socioeconomic/structural determinants of health, and the healthcare system’s responsibility to provide effective, culturally-relevant diabetes services.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|State||Published - Nov 2022|
- deficit discourse
- patient perspectives
- racial/ethnic minority