Nurse Educator M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Meyer, Kemberly


Background: Diabetes mellitus is the major chronic illness in Africa that requires lifelong life-style interventions and pharmacological therapy. The main contributing factors for the rise of diabetes in Africa are urbanization, population changes, and life-style changes (Kengne, Amoah & Mbanya, 2005). Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of mortality in the world and accounts for 80% of the deaths that occur in underdeveloped countries. Life-style change is the most important aspect of diabetes care and includes diabetes self -management education and support (DSMES), medical nutrition therapy (MNT), physical activity, smoking cessation counseling, and psychosocial care. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to review published articles that investigate life-style and dietary pattern interventions for diabetes prevention and management in Africa. Barriers to life-style interventions and strategies to overcome the barriers are also reviewed in this study. Methods: The article search was conducted in an electronic database search of PubMed, CINAHL and, Cochrane Library. Studies were included if they were published between 2003 and 2019, if they were conducted in an African country, and were written in the English language. Using Orem’s Self-Care Theory, fourteen articles were reviewed and analyzed. Results: Articles reviewed included several that discussed the definition and prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in Africa. Four articles examined the basic lifestyle and dietary pattern changes for all patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, two articles on self-care behavior of type-2 diabetes patients, one article on the cost of diabetes in Africa, and seven articles that focused on barriers for adherence to life-style and dietary changes in Africa, with strategies to address those barriers. Conclusion: Life-style interventions including regular physical exercise, weight management, and adherence to health care professionals’ recommendations on healthy diet are the cornerstone in the prevention and management of diabetes in Africa. The main barriers to adherence to prevent and manage diabetes in Africa were both systemic (population changes, poor access, Western cultural influences, and low quality healthcare) and personal (poverty and cost, educational status, and perceptions about the disease) in nature. The strategies for the barriers include: health education programs, advocacy, and capacity building and are the key to overcoming the barriers to adherence to lifestyle modification that assist in the prevention and management of type-2 diabetes.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse Educator

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Nursing Commons