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Darlene Pupi Trudy Sullivan Kirsten J Coppell


Introduction: Diabetes is a common among Pacific peoples. The personal cost of diabetes is substantial with the indirect costs shown to outweigh the direct costs in some instances.  The aim of this case study was to identify and describe the personal cost to four Pacific people living with type 2 diabetes in New Zealand.

Methods: Two Pacific men and two Pacific women with type 2 diabetes were recruited with the assistance of the Pacific Island Centre and the Pacific Research Student Support Unit, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. The participants were interviewed (three in Samoan and one in English) using an open question approach. Appropriate cultural protocols were observed, and interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Samoan interviews were translated into English. A thematic analysis was undertaken using an inductive approach.

Findings: Participants’ ages ranged from the mid-30s to 75 years. The two retired participants had difficulty paying their prescription fees and three participants considered healthy food expensive. Other costs included time off work and family members moving towns to take care of participants and their diabetes. Pacific community members provided time, gifts and money at times when participants were less well. At the same time, participants considered they had a role in educating their community about diabetes prevention. A diagnosis of diabetes triggered healthful lifestyle changes for one participant.

Conclusions: The personal cost associated with diabetes is broad and complex, with particular implications for roles and responsibilities among Pacific communities.

Article Details

Short Report

How to Cite

The impact of living with type 2 diabetes: a descriptive qualitative case study with four Pacific participants. (2018). Pacific Health Dialog, 21(2), 96-102.