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01.12.2014 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 6/2014

Journal of Community Health 6/2014

The Relationship Between Diabetes Attitudes and Treatment Among Free Clinic Patients and Volunteers

Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 6/2014
Akiko Kamimura, Nancy Christensen, Maziar M. Nourian, Kyl Myers, AnnMarie Saunders, Silvia P. Solis, Jeanie Ashby, Jessica L. J. Greenwood, Justine J. Reel


Free clinics provide free primary care to the under or uninsured and have been playing an important role in serving the socio-economically disadvantaged. Free clinic patients represent a group of people who experience significant barriers to receiving diabetes prevention and intervention. This study examined diabetes attitudes among free clinic patients and volunteers. English or Spanish speaking patients and volunteers (N = 384), aged 18 years or older completed a self-administered survey. Diabetic patients and volunteers shared similar levels of diabetes attitudes compared to non-diabetic patients. Among patients, ethnicity, education level, diabetes education, and family history affected diabetes attitudes. Among volunteers, diabetes education was an important factor associated with positive diabetes attitudes. Whether the volunteer is a healthcare professional or student was related only to one aspect of diabetes attitudes, seriousness of type 2 diabetes. The results, indicating free clinic diabetic patients and volunteers shared similar levels of diabetes attitudes, were positive for maintaining and developing diabetes education programs at a free clinic. Unfortunately, the average length of volunteering at this free clinic was short and student volunteers likely leave the clinic upon graduation. Future research should examine issues of volunteer retention in free clinics. Diabetes education for patients may need to be diversified according to ethnicity, family history of diabetes, and educational level. Finally, non-healthcare professional volunteers could potentially be involved in diabetes education at a free clinic.

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