COVID-19 stressors for Hispanic/Latino patients living with type 2 diabetes: a qualitative study

Myia S. Williams, Edgardo Cigaran, Sabrina Martinez, Jose Marino, Paulina Barbero, Alyson K. Myers, Ralph J. DiClemente, Nicole Goris, Valeria Correa Gomez, Dilcia Granville, Josephine Guzman, Yael T. Harris, Myriam Kline, Martin L. Lesser, Amgad N. Makaryus, Lawrence M. Murray, Samy I. McFarlane, Vidhi H. Patel, Jennifer Polo, Roman ZeltserRenee Pekmezaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aim: During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, nationwide lockdowns caused disruption in the diets, physical activities, and lifestyles of patients with type 2 diabetes. Previous reports on the possible association between race/ethnicity, COVID-19, and mortality have shown that Hispanic/Latino patients with type 2 diabetes who are socioeconomically disadvantaged are disproportionately affected by this novel virus. The aim of this study was to explore stressors associated with changes in diabetes self-management behaviors. Our goal was to highlight the health disparities in these vulnerable racial/ethnic minority communities and underscore the need for effective interventions. Methods and participants: Participants were enrolled in part of a larger randomized controlled trial to compare diabetes telehealth management (DTM) with comprehensive outpatient management (COM) in terms of critical patient-centered outcomes among Hispanic/Latino patients with type 2 diabetes. We conducted a thematic analysis using patient notes collected from two research nurses between March 2020 and March 2021. Two authors read through the transcripts independently to identify overarching themes. Once the themes had been identified, both authors convened to compare themes and ensure that similar themes were identified within the transcripts. Any discrepancies were discussed by the larger study team until a consensus was reached. Results: Six themes emerged, each of which can be categorized as either a source or an outcome of stress. Sources of stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic were (1) fear of contracting COVID-19, (2) disruptions from lockdowns, and (3) financial stressors (e.g., loss of income). Outcomes of COVID-19 stressors were (1) reduced diabetes management (e.g., reduced diabetes monitoring and physical activity), (2) suboptimal mental health outcomes (e.g., anxiety and depression), and (3) outcomes of financial stressors. Conclusion: The findings indicated that underserved Hispanic/Latino patients with type 2 diabetes encountered a number of stressors that led to the deterioration of diabetes self-management behaviors during the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1070547
JournalFrontiers in Clinical Diabetes and Healthcare
StatePublished - 2023


  • COVID-19, telemonitoring
  • health disparities
  • health equity
  • racial/ethnic minorities
  • stakeholder engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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