Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe diabetes literacy among Somali immigrants with diabetes and its association with diabetes outcomes. Among Somali immigrants in North America, the prevalence of diabetes exceeds that of the general population, and their measures of diabetes control are suboptimal when compared with non-Somali patients. Diabetes literacy is an important mediator of diabetes outcomes in general populations that has not been previously described among Somali immigrants and refugees. Methods Diabetes literacy was measured using a translated version of the spoken knowledge in low literacy in diabetes (SKILLD) scale among Somali immigrants and refugees with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes outcome measures, including hemoglobin A1C, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood pressure, were obtained for each patient. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess associations between diabetes literacy and diabetes outcomes. Results Among 50 Somali patients with diabetes who completed the survey, the mean SKILLD score was low (42.2%). The diabetes outcome measures showed a mean hemoglobin A1C of 8%, LDL cholesterol of 99.17 mg/dL (2.57 mmol/L), systolic blood pressure of 130.9 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure of 70.2 mmHg. There was no association between diabetes literacy scores and diabetes outcome measures. Discussion Somali patients with diabetes mellitus had low diabetes literacy and suboptimal measures of diabetes disease control. However, we found no association between diabetes literacy and diabetes outcomes. Future work aimed at reduction of diabetes-related health disparities among Somali immigrants and refugees to high-income countries should go beyond traditional means of patient education for lowliteracy populations.
- Diabetes literacy
- Spoken knowledge in low literacy in diabetes (SKILLD)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health