Perceptions of Diabetes Education Among East African Immigrant Parents

Kristi Klee, DNP, MA, MSN, RN, CPN; Karen Thomas, PhD, RN; Deann Atkins, BSN, RN, CDE; Kathryn Ness, MD, MS


Pediatr Nurs. 2020;46(3):146-151. 

In This Article


Caregivers interviewed were all non-English speaking, and most were unfamiliar with the U.S. health care system. The project supports findings in the literature – caregivers with LHL have difficulty navigating the health care setting and understanding complex medical regimens. In addition, interviews reveal the shock felt by the caregiver when their child is diagnosed with diabetes. This feeling of "disbelief" impacts the ability of the caregiver to learn complex tasks early in the hospitalization. Review of education content considering LHL and cultural needs of East African families is a problem that needs to be addressed. Consideration of what a family needs to know to care for their child at home (insulin dosing, carbohydrate counting, blood glucose monitoring, and when to be concerned) versus nice-to-know information (function of pancreas, how insulin works, math calculations versus focus on using "insulin chart") is important to limit overwhelming the family with information before they fully accept their child's diagnosis of diabetes.