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type 2 diabetes, social determinants of health, South Asian, systemic barriers, community health



Individuals from South Asian communities are known to have a higher likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) which is often attributed to individual lifestyle and behavioral factors. This focus on individual responsibility can position communities as complicit in their illness, compounding stigmatization and systemic discrimination. This manuscript explores the social determinants of health (SDOH) that influence health behaviors among South Asian adults with T2D from a service provider perspective.


Using a qualitative descriptive design, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 community, social, and healthcare service providers. We used thematic analysis and the analytical concept of intersectionality to explore how different social locations and SDOH impact T2D management for South Asian adults.


Three themes were identified including: 1) Managing challenges with settlement process, labour policies and job market disparities take priority over T2D management; 2) Poor working conditions and socioeconomic status reduce access to health care and medication; and 3) Social, economic, and cultural barriers to implementing diet and exercise recommendations.


Service providers identified social, economic, and systemic factors as influencing the higher prevalence of T2D among South Asian individuals. They also spoke to their important roles in providing culturally appropriate supports to address SDOH and advocating for changes to policies and practices that reinforce systemic racism. Service providers suggested that more equitable employment policies and practices are needed in order to address the systemic factors that contribute to higher risk of T2D among South Asian adults in Peel.


Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies (FAHCS)


Canadian Journal of Diabetes



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

D’Silva, C., Hafleen, N., Mansfield, E., Martel, S., Fierheller, D., Banerjee, A., Malhotra, G., Mutta, B., Dhillon, P., Hasan, Z., Parikh, A., Nooraie, R.Y., Chaze, F., Zenlea, I., (2022). Service provider perspectives on exploring social determinants of health impacting type 2 diabetes management for South Asian adults in Peel region, Canada. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, doi: https://


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