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The purpose of this study was to present the challenges faced when implementing a diet and exercise intervention for low-income older Hispanics with type 2 diabetes. This was a first of its kind observational study of recruitment, attendance, and characteristics in a Spanish-speaking community government funded congregate meal site. This report evaluated retention and diabetes self-management beliefs of Hispanic adults ≥60 years with type 2 diabetes (n=17) at baseline, and completion of the six-month intervention in terms of the Health Belief Model. There was limited interest in controlling diabetes with diet and exercise. Major barriers included lack of perceived vulnerability to diabetes complications and a belief that medication alone is sufficient to stabilize blood glucose. Environmental barriers included lack of transportation, access to exercise groups, access grocery stores, and limited ability to pay for healthy foods. A lesson learned from this intervention was that the diet and exercise intervention given was insufficient as a cue to action to engage in diet and exercise behavior changes. Interventions to engage low-income, older Hispanics with diabetes in diet and exercise need to consider strategies to overcome barriers such as health beliefs, transportation issues, and lack of access to nutritious food.

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Originally published in Nursing & Primary Care.



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