Perceived Barriers to Healthy Lifestyle Activities in Midlife and Older Australian Women with Type 2 Diabetes
McGuire, Amanda M.
Anderson, Debra Jane
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Purpose: Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in midlife and older Australian women with known modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes including smoking, nutrition, physical activity and obesity. In Australia little research has been done to investigate the perceived barriers to healthy lifestyle activities in midlife and older women with type 2 diabetes. The primary aim of this study was to explore the level and type of perceived barriers to health promotion activities. The secondary aim was to explore the relationship of perceived barriers to smoking behaviour, fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity, and body mass index. Methods: The study was a cross sectional survey of women, aged over 45 with type 2 diabetes, attending metropolitan community health clinics (N = 41). Data was collected from self-report questionnaire and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Women in the study had average total barriers scores similar to those reported in the literature for women with a range of physical disabilities and illnesses. The leading barriers for this group of women were: lack of interest, concern about safety, too tired, lack of money and feeling what they do does not help. There was no association between total barriers scores and body mass index, physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake or socio-demographic variables. Conclusion: This study contributes to understanding the perceptions of midlife and older women with type 2 diabetes about the level and type of barriers to healthy lifestyle activities that they experience. Evidence from this study can be applied to inform health promotion for lifestyle risk factor reduction in women with type 2 diabetes.