Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus among Immigrants in Canada: A Scoping Review on Self-Management


  • Njui Tabi Ngwi Tanyi
  • Jordana Salma


BACKGROUND: Diabetes, a chronic disease commonly experienced by immigrants in Canada, can be complicated by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, non-traumatic lower extremity amputation, diabetic retinopathy, and end-stage renal disease. Immigrants from Africa, South Asia, and Latin America are at risk of diabetes because of genetic, sociocultural, environmental, and economic factors. Self-management practices are critical in preventing poor outcomes for individuals with diabetes.

OBJECTIVES: This scoping review identifies gaps in the range, scope, nature, and characteristics of self-management practices among immigrants with type 2 diabetes in Canada.

METHODS: The review was initiated by accessing 152 primary studies and peer-retrieved articles published in English and retrieved from PubMed, CINAHL, Medline, Scopus, grey literature, and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses databases. After reviewing the abstracts and removing studies that failed to meet inclusion and exclusion criteria, 12 studies were selected for the review.

RESULTS: Self-management of type 2 diabetes among Canadian immigrants is influenced by language proficiency, finances, patient-provider preferences, and support from family, health providers, and peers. Length of stay in Canada, acculturation, and cultural beliefs were also found to impinge on diabetes self-management in immigrants.

CONCLUSION: More information about the influence of religion, the influence of immigration, and refugee status in specific ethnic groups, as well as studies on the lived experiences of immigrants with type 2 diabetes in Canada, are needed to guide nursing care and improve health outcomes of immigrants with type 2 diabetes mellitus.