Date of Award

8-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Food and Nutrition

First Advisor

Null, Dawn

Abstract

Diabetes is a growing health concern among those in rural locations. Rural residents smoke more, exercise less, have less nutritious diets and are more likely to be obese than urban residents. Evidence-based diabetes prevention programs targeting behavior change are available to this population yet participation remains low. This study examined the self-reported barriers and health beliefs of those who declined participation in a diabetes prevention program (DPP). Of 269 clients identified to be at risk for developing Type II Diabetes (T2D), only 85 answered the phone and 33 were interviewed to discuss their health beliefs and reasons for not participating in a diabetes prevention program. Almost half of the participants who expressed their lack of desire to participate in the DPP cited a low level of interest and not seeing any personal benefit as their primary reasons. Participants were closed off when asked what it would take to get them to participate in the program with 63% citing “nothing” as the most common answer when questioned as to what would encourage their participation. In order to limit barriers to participation in prevention-based programs for rural populations special attention needs to address improving general interest and knowledge about the efficacy of a DPP.

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