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Perceptions of risk and motivation for healthy living among immigrants from non-western countries with prior gestational diabetes mellitus living in Denmark

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Objective: To explore perceptions of risk and motivation for healthy living among immigrant women from non-western countries with prior gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) living in Denmark. Design: Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 female immigrants with prior GDM from non-western countries living in Denmark. The women were recruited through a public hospital and other health services and nongovernmental organisations. The theoretical approach was inspired by Arthur Kleinman’s Explanatory Models. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: A diagnosis of GDM entailed great worry for the future. Participants’ fears were primarily linked to the potential later development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and poor health. Women’s perceptions of GDM reflected their experiences with T2D-related complications and even death among relatives. The risk perception of GDM was also influenced by participants’ challenges and trauma unrelated to diabetes. Their motivation for healthy living was strengthened by their experiences with T2D among relatives, while unrelated challenges and trauma generally reduced their capacity for healthier behaviours. Conclusion: Among women with a non-western immigrant background and prior GDM living in Denmark, experiences with T2D among family members and their close communities affect their perceptions of risk and motivation to prevent the development of T2D. Furthermore, the challenges of daily life and past trauma were critical factors in their levels of available resources for health. Health promotion in this population should address health in a holistic way by integrating mental and social health with interventions aimed at preventing the development of T2D.

TidsskriftHealth Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)761-777
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
All authors are employed at Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, a public hospital and research institution under the Capital Region of Denmark, which is partly funded by a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. We are grateful to participants for sharing their time and their views, and for valuable support during the recruiting process from Herlev Hospital, Rigshospitalet?a highly specialized hospital in Denmark and Center for Diabetes, Copenhagen.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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