Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is having an enormous impact on the health of the nation. New cases of diabetes are diagnosed yearly across all states. Currently, 9.3% of the population has diabetes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention {CDC}, 2014). While the prevalence of this disease is nationwide, it is not evenly distributed. Louisiana currently has a rate of 11.5%, with some parishes having rates of 14.5% (CDC, 2014). This rate places increased demands on healthcare and financial systems in Louisiana. Cultural elements and population distribution may be parts of this phenomenon. While many studies explored new medications and treatments, few studies were devoted to the perception of those who have been diagnosed with T2DM. Furthermore, there were limited studies conducted using samples of participants from Southern Louisiana. This exploratory research study focused on the perception of illness held by a sample of persons with T2DM from Southern Louisiana and is reported in two articles for publication. One manuscript (chapter two) focuses on the cultural elements and the history of Southern Louisiana. This manuscript highlights the need for further research using a sample of participants from Southern Louisiana to explore the variables which may impact the current status of T2DM. A second manuscript (chapter three) is a report of the findings regarding perception of illness as a means to determine impact on self-care activities of those diagnosed with T2DM. This study examined the variables of illness representation using the Self-Regulatory Model of Illness as the theoretical framework. Conclusions and recommendations regarding management of persons with diabetes in Louisiana are offered.

Date of publication

Spring 5-5-2015

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