Norfolk native has study published in The Diabetes Educator journal
Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 10:49 am

POTSDAM -- A study that a Norfolk native began as an undergraduate at SUNY Potsdam was recently published in The Diabetes Educator, a flagship journal of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Now a Ph.D. candidate, Samantha Paige, who graduated from Potsdam in 2012, is the lead author on the article, which was co-authored by SUNY Potsdam Associate Professor of Community Health Dr. Kelly Bonnar, along with researchers from Purdue University and Utah State University.

The article, titled "Risk Factor Knowledge, Perceived Threat, and Protective Health Behaviors: Implications for Type 2 Diabetes Control in Rural Communities," shares the results of a survey of North Country residents that Paige completed as a SUNY Potsdam student in 2011. The study's goal was to explore how the perceived threat of Type 2 diabetes is shaped by risk factor knowledge, and could help promote engagement in protective health behaviors.

Paige and Bonnar completed the survey of Northern New York residents to examine differences in the perceived threat of Type 2 diabetes among respondents, as well as their engagement in physical activity and health screenings, among other factors. As noted in the resulting article, the researchers found that the rural population had relatively high perceptions about the threat of the disease and knowledge about its risk factors.

In particular, they noted that the perceived threat of Type 2 diabetes was associated with increased indications of receiving blood glucose screenings. Among other practical implications, the authors recommended that health educators and researchers design and test using targeted "fear" appeal messages emphasizing the negative effects of Type 2 diabetes to promote the importance of blood glucose and cholesterol screenings.

Paige completed an internship with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health. Following graduation, she went on to earn her master’s degree in public health at Purdue, and is now completing her Ph.D. as a predoctoral fellow in the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida, where she is also a graduate school fellow in the College of Health and Human Performance.