Cultural considerations for the adaptation of a diabetes self-management education program in Cotonou, Benin: Lessons learned from a qualitative study

Halimatou Alaofè, Sarah Yeo, Abidemi Okechukwu, Priscilla Magrath, Waliou Amoussa Hounkpatin, John Ehiri, Cecilia Rosales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) poses a disproportionate burden on Benin, West Africa. However, no diabetes intervention has yet been developed for Benin’s contexts. This study aimed to explore specific cultural beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and environmental factors to help adapt a diabetes self-management program to patients with T2D from Cotonou, in southern Benin. Methods: Qualitative data were collected through focus group discussions (FDGs) involving 32 patients with T2D, 16 academic partners, and 12 community partners. The FDGs were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim from French to English, and then analyzed thematically with MAXQDA 2020. Results: Healthy food was challenging to obtain due to costs, seasonality, and distance from markets. Other issues discussed were fruits and vegetables as commodities for the poor, perceptions and stigmas surrounding the disease, and the financial burden of medical equipment and treatment. Information about local food selections and recipes as well as social support, particularly for physical activity, were identified, among other needs. When adapting the curriculum, gender dynamics and spirituality were suggested. Conclusions: The study demonstrates the need for culturally sensitive interventions and a motivation-based approach to health (spiritual and emotional support). It also lays the groundwork for addressing T2D contextually in Benin and similar sub-Saharan African countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8376
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2 2021

Keywords

  • Benin
  • Cotonou
  • Culturally tailored interventions
  • Meta Salud Diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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