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Chronic Dis Inj Can. 2012 Dec;33(1):12-8.

Self-management, health service use and information seeking for diabetes care among recent immigrants in Toronto.

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  • 1Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Our objective was to explore self-management practices, health services use and information-seeking for type 2 diabetes care among adult men and women from four recent immigrant communities in Toronto.


A structured questionnaire was adapted for the Canadian context and translated into 4 languages. A total of 184 participants with type 2 diabetes-130 recent immigrants and 54 Canadian-born-were recruited in both community and hospital settings.


Recent immigrants were significantly less likely than the Canadian-born group to perform regular blood glucose and foot checks and significantly more likely than the Canadian-born group to be non-smokers, participate in regular physical activity and reduce dietary fat. Recent immigrants were significantly less likely than the Canadian-born group to use a specialist, alternative provider and dietician and less likely to report using dieticians, nurses and diabetes organizations as sources of diabetes-related information. Important differences were observed by sex and country of origin.


Findings suggest that diabetes prevention and management strategies for recent immigrants must address linguistic, financial, informational and systemic barriers to information and care.

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