Self-monitoring of blood glucose in Black Caribbean and South Asian Canadians with non-insulin treated Type 2 diabetes mellitus: a qualitative study of patients' perspectives

Background: To examine the views and current practice of SMBG among Black Caribbean and South Asian individuals with non-insulin treated Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: Twelve participants completed semi-structured interviews that were guided by the Health Belief Model and analyzed using thematic network analysis. Results: The frequency of monitoring among participants varied from several times a day to once per week. Most participants expressed similar experiences regarding their views and practices of SMBG. Minor differences across gender and culture were observed. All participants understood the benefits, but not all viewed SMBG as beneficial to their personal diabetes management. SMBG can facilitate a better understanding and maintenance of self-care behaviours. However, it can trigger both positive and negative emotional responses, such as a sense of disappointment when high readings are not anticipated, resulting in emotional distress. Health care professionals play a key role in the way SMBG is perceived and used by patients. Conclusion: While the majority of participants value SMBG as a self-management tool, barriers exist that impede its practice, particularly its cost. How individuals cope with these barriers is integral to understanding why some patients adopt SMBG more than others.