Experiences of type 2 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa: a scoping review

Zimmermann, M., Bunn, C. , Namadingo, H., Gray, C. M. and Lwanda, J. (2018) Experiences of type 2 diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa: a scoping review. Global Health Research and Policy, 3, 25. (doi: 10.1186/s41256-018-0082-y)

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Background: The prevalence of diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is growing rapidly. Qualitative research on experiences of type 2 diabetes in SSA is emerging, but no qualitative synthesis has been attempted. This scoping review aims to redress this lack of synthesis and to extract policy-relevant suggestions from the literature. Methods: Scoping review methodology was employed. Eleven online databases were searched (CINAHLplus, Cochrane Library, EBESCOhost, GALE Group, MEDLINE, Pro-Quest, Pscyhinfo, Pubmed, SCOPUS, Web of Science, WorldCat), using terms designed to identify qualitative studies of experiences of diabetes in SSA. Findings from records identified in the search were analysed inductively in NVivo 10 in three stages, to produce an analytical synthesis of studies of diabetes experiences in SSA. Results: Searches were conducted in 2017 and identified 2743 records, which were reduced to 21 after screening. The earliest identified record was published in 2003 and there was a clustering of records published between 2014 and 2016. The 21 records were based in eight SSA countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. A majority of the studies were conducted in Ghana (5) and South Africa (5), limiting the generalisability of our findings. The analytical synthesis produced five themes: identifying type 2 diabetes (how participants conceptualise and position their illnesses); hybridity of diabetes care (how multiple forms of care are often blended and/or pursued concurrently); impediments, improvisation and diabetes management (describing challenges faced, how these are responded to and management via diet and physical activity); sources of support (who supports participants and how); and diabetes and HIV/AIDs (the ways in which the two conditions are sometimes confused and how stigma is often experienced). Conclusions: The experiences of people with type 2 diabetes in SSA are under-researched across the region, pointing to a gap in knowledge. Interpreting our analytical synthesis, we suggest three priority areas for policy makers and implementers. Firstly, uncertainties relating to access to diabetes treatment need to be reduced. Secondly, more needs to be done to acknowledge and alleviate the economic struggles that those with diabetes face. Finally, high-quality information and education would improve recognition and management of the condition.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gray, Professor Cindy and Bunn, Dr Christopher and Lwanda, Dr John Lloyd
Authors: Zimmermann, M., Bunn, C., Namadingo, H., Gray, C. M., and Lwanda, J.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Global Health Research and Policy
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):2397-0642
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Global Health Research and Policy 3:25
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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