Health care experiences of Indigenous people living with type 2 diabetes in Canada

Kristen M. Jacklin, Rita I. Henderson, Michael E. Green, Leah M. Walker, Betty Calam, Lynden J. Crowshoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Indigenous social determinants of health, including the ongoing impacts of colonization, contribute to increased rates of chronic disease and a health equity gap for Indigenous people. We sought to examine the health care experiences of Indigenous people with type 2 diabetes to understand how such determinants are embodied and enacted during clinical encounters. METHODS: Sequential focus groups and interviews were conducted in 5 Indigenous communities. Focus groups occurred over 5 sessions at 4 sites; 3 participants were interviewed at a 5th site. Participants self-identified as Indigenous, were more than 18 years of age, lived with type 2 diabetes, had received care from the same physician for the previous 12 months and spoke English. We used a phenomenological thematic analysis framework to categorize diabetes experiences. RESULTS: Patient experiences clustered into 4 themes: the colonial legacy of health care; the perpetuation of inequalities; structural barriers to care; and the role of the health care relationship in mitigating harm. There was consistency across the diverse sites concerning the root causes of mistrust of health care systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E106-E112
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 23 2017

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