Formative research to inform intervention development for diabetes prevention in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Leslie M. Cortes, Joel Gittelsohn, Julia Alfred, Neal A. Palafox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Formative research was conducted in the Republic of the Marshall Islands to help develop a diabetes prevention intervention. Methods included in-depth interviews, semistructured interviews, and direct observation of household behaviors in urban and remote settings. Foods were classified into two main conceptual spheres: foods from the islands/Marshallese foods and imported/American foods. Diabetes (nanimij in tonal) is a highly salient illness and is believed to be caused by foods high in fat and sugar, consumption of imported/American foods, family background, and the atomic bomb testing. Physical activity and eating a traditional diet were viewed as important for preventing diabetes. The traditional belief system links a large body with health, and a thin body with illness; however, perceptions are changing with increased acculturation and education about the health risks of obesity. These findings were used to develop a diabetes prevention home visit intervention currently being implemented and evaluated in Marshallese households.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-715
Number of pages20
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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