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Table 2 Reactions to diabetes diagnosis

From: Stories for change: development of a diabetes digital storytelling intervention for refugees and immigrants to minnesota using qualitative methods

Sub-theme Summary of reactions Representative quotes
Relief or denial Often related to presence/absence of symptoms at diagnosis SM: “I was diagnosed with diabetes about three years ago. And when I was diagnosed I could not believe it. …So my “believe” that I did not have diabetes even got stronger and I started to continue to eat whatever I wanted to and lots of sweets.”
SM: “So I was worried before the diagnosis and concerned about my condition of urgent urination so I kind of found identity for my problem. So when I was told you have this disease I kind of felt better because at least I had condition rather than not knowing what was wrong with me.”
SM: “My reaction was that I believed that I was going to die since they said you are not going to leave the hospital and how serious my sugar was. I was very afraid.”
SW: “I remember when my doctor told me that do you have diabetes, I disagreed with him for a long time because I told him that diabetes is a hereditary disease and none of my family members have ever had diabetes.”
Shock, fear, hopelessness Often related to knowledge of diabetes, especially from diabetic family members, beliefs about hereditability, and lack of prior diabetes knowledge LW: “I wasn’t expecting that. Because I had met people with diabetes and I know that life is difficult for the people that have diabetes. Because, first; you have to cut [off] all your customs…, so your life is going to change totally.”
LM: “I grew up knowing about diabetes in the family, some of my relatives had lost limbs. When diagnosed I thought “no hope” [I gave up].”
SM: “I had that many symptoms that include frequent to urination and sometimes not being able to hold on and thirst. So I went to the Internet and I looked for information and diabetes I was in California and I recognized that I had all the symptoms of diabetes so when I was going to the doctor I actually believed I had diabetes…I went in there for more of a confirmation even though part of me wanted to deny it and hoping that I would be wrong. …I had phobia about diabetes and I really hated it. I believe that if you had diabetes or you were diagnosed with diabetes you would be it would be death sentence.”
SW: “I was very shocked when I heard that I [was] diagnosed with diabetic and it was right after when my son passed away and with that type of diabetes. …the most shocking moment in my life was when I was told by my Doctor that I will live with diabetes for the rest of my life.”
  1. Abbreviations: LM Latino Man, LW Latino Women, SM Somali Man, SW Somali Woman