Student Lead: Minal Waqar

Project title: Diabetes health care service utilization among South Asians in GTA

Minal’s thesis research project focused on Type 2 diabetes in South Asians living in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario and their utilization of diabetes-related health services in the Canadian healthcare system. Type 2 diabetes accounts for majority of the diabetes cases around the world, and certain ethnicities have a higher risk of developing this chronic condition, including South Asians (i.e., individuals originating from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka). This risk is especially higher in migrant South Asians living in Western countries, as evidenced by existing literature. Thus, the first main objective of this thesis was to synthesize the latest literature on factors that predispose South Asians to be at high-risk for type 2 diabetes and the healthcare utilization  patterns of ethnic minorities in Canada, which was fulfilled through a scoping review analysis. The second objective was to investigate perceptions and experiences of South Asians living with type 2 diabetes in Ontario and their utilization of diabetes related healthcare services and community resources within the healthcare system. This objective was addressed through qualitative 20 in-depth interviews with South Asian participants who were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and living in the GTA, Ontario. The interview data was analyzed through NVivo 12 and findings were contextualized through a conceptual framework involving Anderson’s Behaviour Model of health services utilization and the relational perspective of place.