Madonna Azure

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Diabetes Mellitus is a major health problem for Native Americans. There has been an increase in the prevalence rate of Type 2 diabetes among this population. The increase in Type 2 diabetes has been attributed to major lifestyle changes such as decreased physical activity and a diet high in fats. The number of diagnosed patients with diabetes has almost doubled over a ten-year period on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

The purpose of this study was to assess the attitudes and behaviors of Native American patients with diabetes and their relationship to patients' seeking health care services. The variables studied were attitudes and behaviors. The theoretical model chosen for the study was Nola Pender's Health Promotion Model.

The study took place in one of the communities of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. A convenience sample of 19 was obtained. Criteria for inclusion in the study were as follows; the participants had to be 1B years and older, live in the community and been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes for over 1 year. The Diabetes Attitudes and Behavior Questionnaire was used to collect data during monthly "commodities day" and community meetings. The questionnaire has three components; demography, attitudes and self-reported health behaviors.

Results of the study showed the participants to have a positive attitude toward diabetes self-care. It also showed these participants to be actively seeking health care and education for their diabetes.

Data from this study provided valuable information for improving services to the diabetic population of one community on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Assessing the attitudes and behaviors of Native American patients with diabetes needs to be a part of the nurse's assessment. The information can be used to help develop a plan of care and establish realistic goals. With the increasing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Native American communities and the nation, a diabetes course should be included in the nursing curriculum. More research is needed in assessing the attitudes and behaviors of Native American patients with diabetes.