Control and adherence: Living with diabetes in Bangkok, Thailand

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Naemiratch, Bhensri and Manderson, Lenore (2006) Control and adherence: Living with diabetes in Bangkok, Thailand. Social Science and Medicine, 63 (5). pp. 1147-1157. ISSN 0277-9536


Diabetes is managed via a regimen of control. Physicians advise adults living with type 2 diabetes to control blood sugar levels by controlling diet, maintaining regular exercise, and complying with medication. The extent to which individuals are able to adhere to such recommendations varies. In this article, we explore lay perceptions of diabetes and its control, drawing on data from an ethnographic study conducted in Bangkok, Thailand. Between August 2001 and February 2003 the first author spent time with twelve man and women living with type 2 diabetes, their spouses, children and health providers. An additional 21 people were interviewed to extend the data and test for generalisibility. It was found that individual explanations of control, and adherence or resistance to medical advice, are interpreted and adapted in ways consistent with Buddhist philosophy and Thai norms that govern everyday life. Notions of moderation and cultural values of being and behaving, and ideals of interaction, provide a philosophical basis and practical guidelines for control.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.03.006
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies
Historical > FOR Classification > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Australian Community Centre for Diabetes
Keywords ResPubID18999, diabetes, Thailand, control, self-management, chronic disease, Buddhism
Citations in Scopus 30 - View on Scopus
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