Diabetes: Christian Worldview, Medical Distrust and Self-Management

Kelley Newlin Lew, Nancy Arbauh, Paul Banach, Gail Melkus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To inform the development of a combined diabetes prevention and self-management intervention in partnership with church communities, this study sampled African American church leaders and members (N = 44) to qualitatively study religious beliefs and practices, diabetes prevention and self-management behaviors, and related community actions. Prior to commencing the study, internal review board approval was obtained. Although not required, community consent was officially provided by the church pastors. Individual consent was subsequently obtained from eligible community members who expressed an interest in participating in the study. Following a participatory action research approach, the inquiry group method was used. Qualitative data were analyzed with content analysis. Findings revealed Christian worldview, medical distrust and self-management as prominent themes. Findings suggest that diabetes providers address religious orientation in the provision of care with attention to rebuilding trust with the African-American community to improve health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1172
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • African Americans
  • Christian
  • Churches
  • Diabetes
  • Medical distrust
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • General Medicine
  • General Nursing


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