EXPLORING PATIENT EDUCATION REGARDING DIABETES IN THE VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY AT THE DORCHESTER HOUSE

Title EXPLORING PATIENT EDUCATION REGARDING DIABETES IN THE VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY AT THE DORCHESTER HOUSE
Author, Co-Author Tiffany Yuen, Lindy Hoang, Tiffanny Lai, Lanh Nguyen, Linda Nguyen, Thu Nguyen
Topic
Year
2008
Day
Thursday
Program Number
85216
Room
Affiliation
New England College of Optometry
Abstract BACKGROUND: The prevalence of diabetes has been a growing concern in public health but there are no official statistics of its prevalence in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Studies also show a possible connection between non-English speaking patients and poor diabetic management due to insufficient patient education. This project aims to examine this correlation in the Vietnamese community at the Dorchester House Multi-service Center, a community health center in the inner city of Boston.

CASE REPORT(S): The Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) at the Joslin Diabetes Center has estimated at least 10% of Asians are diabetic. 22% of the total patient population and 26% of the diabetic population are Vietnamese at Dorchester House. To investigate the quality and availability of diabetic education for Vietnamese patients at the eye clinic at Dorchester House, we interviewed 3 optometrists, 11 Vietnamese diabetic patients and observed a focus group. All three optometrists discuss diabetes during exams, but depend on interpreters, seminars, and Vietnamese brochures for adequate patient education. Patients were satisfied with the information they received, but showed limited knowledge of diabetes. The main concerns expressed at the focus group were the lack of Vietnamese materials and the limited availability of interpreters.

CONCLUSIONS: Diabetic education appears to be available at Dorchester House, but the quality is difficult to assess. Due to the language barrier, the optometrists cannot determine if uncontrolled diabetes is due to a lack of compliance, communication, or understanding. Patients may not fully understand their condition because of their limited knowledge, cultural perspectives of health care, and accessibility to bilingual materials. This is a multi-faceted problem that requires further research and creative solutions.
Affiliation of Co-Authors New England College of Optometry, New England College of Optometry, New England College of Optometry, New England College of Optometry, New England College of Optometry
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