African Americans suffer from diabetes at rates higher than most other Americans, and these numbers are even higher for African American women. An effective strategy for helping people live with diabetes is to teach people with diabetes attitudes and behaviors that may be problematic for following prescribed life style changes to manage the disease. A behavior modification study was conducted to determine the influence of using behavioral techniques to teach patients to manage their diabetes. This study involved African American women, ages 46 to 87, with self-reported diagnosis of diabetes for at least three years. The study focused on using self-management techniques for medication use, exercise, physical activity, and blood monitoring. This was an exciting study because so few studies focus on African American women in terms of behavior modification and diabetes.
The study indicated that using self-management techniques for diabetes helps people reduce their chances for diabetic complications, and death related to diabetes. The self-management techniques used in the study were used to influence dietary changes, exercise, and monitoring blood. The study also demonstrated that self-management models could be created and the users could modify these models to help people living with diabetes to better manage their condition. The study participants were given information about diabetes, and desired behavioral changes to achieve an optimal life living with diabetes. The people of the study were also taught to monitor and record their current engagement in successful diabetes management behaviors and to adjust accordingly. They were also taught to understand barriers to optimal behavior for management of diabetes.
This study is just a demonstration that people can take control of their lives when they are provided with appropriate and relevant information. The behavior modification methods used in this study can be used by anyone. To do this you must educate yourself about diabetes, and the necessary life style changes needed to prevent problems. Next write down your current engagement in the desired behaviors so that you can determine things in your environment that prevent you from engaging in the desired behaviors. This is just a study of yourself, once your self-study is complete review the results so that you can make adjustments to your life that will work for you.
Rahim-Williams, B. (2011, March). Beliefs, Behaviors, and Modifications of Type 2 Diabetes Self-management among African American Women. Journal of the National Medical Association, 103(3), 203-215.