Food perceptions and concerns of aboriginal women coping with gestational diabetes in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Research paper by Hannah Tait HT Neufeld

Indexed on: 15 Nov '11Published on: 15 Nov '11Published in: Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior


To describe how Aboriginal women in an urban setting perceive dietary treatment recommendations associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).Semi-structured explanatory model interviews explored Aboriginal women's illness experiences with GDM.Twenty-nine self-declared Aboriginal women who had received a diagnosis of GDM within the last 5 years in Winnipeg, Manitoba.Factors influencing Aboriginal women's prenatal food perceptions with GDM.Thematic analysis was used through coding linkages and matrix queries to assist in identifying and categorizing patterns or relationships.Participants associated fear, anxiety, and frustration with GDM. Emotional reactions appeared alongside negative relationships with food and other prescribed lifestyle treatments. Collectively, these results suggested that the experience of living with GDM can be overwhelming, as suggested by some of the complex factors influencing women's perceptions and reported behaviors. Discussions indicated many felt socially isolated and had a poor self-image and sense of failure resulting from ineffective GDM management practices.Future efforts should focus on self-efficacy and security in Aboriginal women's own interpretation of GDM, providing them with the understanding that there is potential for prevention and change.