Illness perceptions, beliefs and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes among British Pakistani mothers and young British Pakistani women

  • Fozia Ikram

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The prevalence rates of type2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) continues to rise among British Pakistanis. The aim of this project was to explore T2DM perceptions and any preventative intentions among British Pakistani women and to discover whether they are doing anything to prevent the onset in themselves and their families. Initially a systematic review was conducted to investigate 20 existing prevention interventions and to assess their effectiveness (n=12,419). Mixed methods approach was adopted and three studies were conducted. The first study consisted of two focus groups with T2DM mothers (n=8) and three focus groups with non-T2DM mothers (n=17). The second study consisted of four focus groups young British Pakistani females (n=11). All focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Following these a quantitative study was undertaken comprising of a questionnaire survey; 12 prevention-perception items (derived from the qualitative data) and the Illness-Perception Questionnaire Revised (IPQ-R) using participants from the same populations: T2DM mothers (n=41), non-T2DM mother (n=47) and young women (n=42). Results were analysed using multiple/hierarchical regression.
The systematic review highlighted that the most effective prevention programmes focussed on behaviour and lifestyle with a combination of support and education to participants. The research studies demonstrated that T2DM was seen as an older person’s disease to be dealt with if/when it happens. T2DM mothers demonstrated knowledge and prevention understanding. There were non-significant relationships between prevention perceptions and T2DM illness perceptions across all three groups. The finding of this thesis emphasised that lifestyle interventions are crucial to aiding T2DM preventions as a good healthy diet and regular physical activity are the key components to T2DM prevention, and the importance of personal experience in perceived severity and lay-beliefs regarding T2DM and on family/cultural influences in British-Pakistanis. The findings of this project can be used to design culturally specific interventions towards preventing T2DM in the British Pakistani community.
Date of AwardJun 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aston University
SupervisorHelen M Pattison (Supervisor)


  • type 2 diabetes
  • British Pakistanis
  • prevention
  • lifestyle
  • mixed methods

Cite this