Barriers to, and Facilitators of, Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Gestational Diabetes: An Interpretive Description of South Asian Women and Health-Care Providers Living and Working in Southern Ontario, Canada
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OBJECTIVES: People of South Asian ancestry are the fastest growing non-Caucasian ethnic group in Canada and are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. Pregnant South Asian women have a 2-fold increased risk of developing gestational diabetes, which increases their risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. The specific objectives of this study were to explore the perceptions of health behaviours (diet and physical activity) during pregnancy in the South Asian community. METHODS: We used interpretive description to further understand the cultural and contextual factors that influence the knowledge, attitudes and practices of diet and physical activity of South Asian women of childbearing age and those who provide health care to this group. RESULTS: Two major themes that emerged from the perspectives of 10 South Asian pregnant women included: (1) importance of considering an individual's locus of control; and (2) support (emotional and information exchange) from family, friends and health-care providers. Two major themes identified by the 11 health-care providers were: (1) cultural awareness in caring for South Asian women during pregnancy; and (2) clinic management, logistics and resources. A common theme for both South Asian pregnant women and health-care providers was the importance of considering the cultural landscape in relation to how knowledge is obtained, shared and valued. CONCLUSION: A better understanding of these cultural underpinnings may support the development of interventions tailored for pregnant South Asian women and their health-care providers.
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