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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 139-144

Dietary practices and barriers to dietary modification among diabetics and hypertensives in a rural health service area of Puducherry: A qualitative study

1 Department of Community Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, SVMCH and RC, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Subitha Lakshminarayanan
Department of Community Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry - 605 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_158_17

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BACKGROUND: Healthy dietary practice is an important lifestyle modification and one of the key adjuncts to pharmacotherapy in the management of diabetes and hypertension. AIM AND OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the awareness regarding healthy dietary practices among diabetic and hypertensive patients in a rural health center, and to identify the barriers to dietary modifications and compliance among them. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eight focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in this qualitative study among diabetic and/or hypertensive patients (homogenous groups, with 6–10 members) both in the special clinic as well as in the community setting of Ramanathapuram, in rural Puducherry. Verbatim group transcriptions were analyzed by systematic text condensation. RESULTS: Four themes – “awareness toward dietary modification,” “compliance to dietary modification,” “family support in following dietary modification,” and “barriers faced in following dietary modification” emerged after the analysis of all FGDs. Most of the patients were aware regarding the dietary modifications, but few comply with the modifications due to the barriers such as lack of time, financial constraints, and inadequate family support. Other barriers in following the dietary changes include fear of taboo in social gatherings and inability to deviate from traditional food habits. CONCLUSION: Despite good awareness, compliance to healthy dietary practices was poor owing to several barriers. Nutrition education sessions need to be conducted considering locally available resources and addressing the commonly encountered barriers in a simple and comprehensible manner involving family members/caregivers in addition to the patients.

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