Diabetes Self-Care Behaviors Among Marshallese Adults Living in the United States

Holly Felix, Brett Rowland, Christopher R. Long, Marie Rachelle Narcisse, Michelle Piel, Peter A. Goulden, Pearl A. McElfish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Marshallese experience high rates of type 2 diabetes. Proper management of diabetes requires multiple self-care behaviors, yet little is known about Marshallese’s diabetes-related self-care behaviors. Survey data from 111 Marshallese adults with diabetes were used to examine relationships between self-care behaviors and socio-demographic characteristics. The most common self-care behavior was attending annual doctor visits, while the least common was maintaining a normal weight. Age group, education level, and having a regular doctor were significantly associated with engaging in self-care behaviors. Having a regular doctor had the most effect on performing self-care behaviors (p = 0.006); although, only 38.7% reported having a regular doctor. To minimize diabetes-related complications, efforts to improve self-care behaviors among the Marshallese should be developed. Alternatives to traditional healthcare providers, such as community health workers, may be a viable strategy with this population given only one-third reported having a regular doctor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1500-1507
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Marshallese
  • Minority health
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Self-care behaviors
  • Type 2 diabetes


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