Culturally Tailored Dance Exercise & Education Intervention for Uninsured Hispanic Diabetic Women: Lessons Learned

By Marietta Bell-Scriber, Laura VanderMolen and Dianne Slager.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Diabetes is a major challenge among Hispanics, who can have higher complication rates than the White population. There is limited research assessing culturally tailored approaches to diabetes management in diverse ethnic groups, especially women. This pilot feasibility study used a case study approach to examine whether culturally specific dance exercise with short education sessions over a 12-week period can improve the health status and knowledge of diabetes in uninsured Hispanic women with diabetes, thereby reducing their risk for complications. Conducted at a nonprofit clinic in Michigan, the pilot included a sample of three participants. Findings include the duration of dance exercise and education received and their effect on knowledge and beliefs about diabetes (pre- and post-intervention), blood pressure measurements, HbA1c and lipid levels, and weight and BMI. While the sample size was small, findings can inform future studies based on lessons learned. An interesting finding is highlighted in that a wellness intervention for a Hispanic mother can also directly benefit her obese child at risk for diabetes.

Keywords: Vulnerable Populations, Risk Factor Management, Social Influences, Cultural Influences, Health and Wellness

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.61-71. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 478.525KB).

Dr. Marietta Bell-Scriber

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL, USA

For the last 15 years, Dr. Bell-Scriber has practiced as a board-certified family nurse practitioner, most recently in a non-profit center to provide primary care to the medically uninsured (65% are Hispanic). Transitioning into academia 11 years ago, she has been a tenured professor and professor emeritus at a university in Michigan, and is currently in a tenure track position in southern Illinois. Her research is focused on populations at risk for poor outcomes. These populations include vulnerable, culturally diverse populations who lack access to health care, may not receive culturally competent care, or are minorities and may experience discrimination. Interested in increasing the quality of health care on a global scale, she traveled to Cambodia to provide education to nurses who have limited access to educational resources and led nursing students to Finland where she taught an international workshop engaging Finnish and American students in a critical and reflexive examination of culture. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2010–2011 and traveled to Cyprus to teach in both Greek and Turkish communities to improve evidence-based practice due to the need for nurses on a global level to move from practices steeped in tradition to those that are supported by sound evidence.

Dr. Laura VanderMolen

Medical Director, Health Intervention Services, Grand Rapids, MI, USA

Laura VanderMolen, DO, is a bilingual physician who is board certified in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. After receiving her medical degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri, she completed her residency in Grand Rapids, MI. Serving as Medical Director, she has been with Health Intervention Services in Grand Rapids, MI, since 2001 after returning from medical mission work in Peru. As the only physician on staff, she serves as the primary doctor for many of the patients, and she recruits and provides oversight for the volunteer physicians and nurses at the clinic. She has additionally served as a consultant related to community-based research projects.

Dianne Slager

Nurse Practitioner, Health Department, Nottawaseppi Huron Potawatomi, Grand Rapids, MI, USA

Dianne Slager MSN, FNP-BC, is a Nurse Practitioner with the Health Department of Nottawaseppi Huron Potawatomi in Grand Rapids, MI. She is also a doctoral student at the University of Michigan—Flint. She has research interests and a number of publications related to the management of chronic illness. She serves as a volunteer provider and board member at Health Intervention Services in Grand Rapids, MI.