Types and sources of social support among adults living with type 2 diabetes in rural communities in the Dominican Republic

Deshira D. Wallace, Humberto Gonzalez Rodriguez, Elizabeth Walker, Hans Dethlefs, Rachel A. Dowd, Linda Filipi, Clare Barrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Type 2 diabetes management hinges on various determinants, including the role of interpersonal relationships in self-management behaviours. The aim of this study was to explore the types and sources of social support received by adults in the diabetes diagnosis and self-management processes. We conducted qualitative interviews with 28 men and women at two rural clinics in the Dominican Republic and used a combination of narrative and thematic analytic techniques to identify key sources and types of social support in their diabetes experiences. Participants described three stages in their diabetes experience: diagnosis, programme-enrolment, and long-term management. During diabetes diagnosis, most participants described receiving no support. At the programme-enrolment stage, friends and neighbours frequently provided informational or instrumental support to get to the clinic. In long-term management, cohabiting partners provided the most support, which was often assistance with their diet. Our findings highlight he need to assess and leverage distinct types and sources of social support at different stages of the diabetes experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019



  • Social support
  • chronic disease management
  • diabetes
  • qualitative
  • rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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