Family communication as strategy in diabetes prevention: an observational study in families with Dutch and Surinamese South-Asian ancestry

Suzanne C. M. van Esch, Martina C. Cornel, Petronella H. L. M. Geelhoed-Duijvestijn, Frank J. Snoek

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13 Citations (Scopus)


To explore the possibility of utilizing family communication as a diabetes prevention strategy, specifically targeting high-risk families with South-Asian ancestry in The Netherlands. In a cross-sectional study, type 2 diabetes patients from Dutch (n=311) and Surinamese South-Asian (n=157) origin filled in a questionnaire assessing socio-demographic characteristics, beliefs and concerns about familial diabetes risk, primary prevention, and diabetes-related family communication. Discussing diabetes is regarded acceptable in most families. Especially Surinamese South-Asian patients (68%) seemed motivated to convey risk messages to their relatives; they reported a higher risk perception and expressed more concern than Dutch patients. While 40% in both groups thought relatives are able to prevent developing diabetes, 46% in Dutch and 33% in Surinamese South-Asian patients were unsure. Promoting family communication appears a feasible strategy in diabetes prevention in high-risk (Surinamese South-Asian) families. Health care providers should address patients' concern and emphasize opportunities for prevention. Findings favor training of clinicians in utilizing a family approach as prevention strategy. Patients (particularly Surinamese South-Asians) are in need of professional help in the process of family risk disclosure. (Online) Educational tools should be made available at which patients can refer their relatives
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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