Ethiopian immigrants with diabetes in Israel: Oscillating between two narratives

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Aim: The purpose of this project was to examine the role of cultural differences in shaping the management of diabetes among Ethiopian immigrants living in Israel. Methods: A qualitative, in-depth study involved semistructured interviews with 16 Ethiopian immigrants with diabetes living in Israel. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and translated into Hebrew, if necessary. The authors each identified themes in the responses and then through discussion came to a consensus about the most significant ones and how to categorize them. Results: A main theme was revealed structuring the participants' perception of diabetes: an oscillation between a familiar narrative, associated with traditional life in Ethiopia, and a foreign one. Five additional subthemes were also identified as an oscillation about the causes of disease, between collectivism and individualism, between accessible food and a balanced diet, between relying on bodily sensations and prescribed treatment and between culturally oriented and translated knowledge. Conclusion: The participants understood that they could be adversely affected both by the changes in lifestyle following their move and by adhering to the traditional norms. They agreed that professional liaisons and peers who have successfully managed their diabetes could help provide a bridge between the narratives.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13061
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


  • cultural competency
  • decision-making
  • diabetes mellitus
  • disease management
  • immigrants
  • nursing
  • patient-centred care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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