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Communication Between Young Adults and Family Members with Type 2 Diabetes

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Inakhshmi Rashid

With a staggering 34.2 million Americans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (T2D) as of 2018, T2D has become one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States. Despite the growing prevalence of (T2D) and the general understanding of its preventable nature, most people susceptible to T2D still vastly underestimate their risk. In order to combat the rapidly growing rate of T2D correcting these risk perceptions is one possible intervention to help inspire preventative behaviors within individuals. While it has been established that having some level of knowledge about family history results in more accurate risk perceptions, there is still a key component missing to answer why this discrepancy in perceived and actual risk continues to persist. It is almost completely unknown how families talk about T2D risk and prevention and how these communications are related to subsequent risk perceptions and behaviors among young adults with a family history of T2D. To help fill this gap in understanding, this study focuses on young adults with a family history of T2D and seeks to understand how they view T2D, what their experience with the illness has been, and how these experiences have shaped their own perceived risk and intended preventative health behaviors. Of particular interest is how information concerning T2D is communicated between affected and non-affected family members and whether this can have a positive or negative influence on risk perception and T2D prevention. To gather this information both qualitative interviews and a collection of surveys were used to allow participants the freedom to discuss topics most important to them, while also collecting information through pre-established psychological tools as complementary data. Having this knowledge can inform the design of public health initiatives to encourage more effective communication within families about T2D, leading to more realistic perceptions about T2D and one's susceptibility to it. Understanding which communication methods are most effective also has the potential to improve preventative health behaviors and lower the incidence rate of T2D among members of high-risk families.
University / Institution: University of Utah
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)
Area of Research: Social Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Lisa Aspinwall
Location: Union Building, COLLEGIATE ROOM (9:40am)