Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore data concerning subjective theories, personal resources, and recommendations for counseling changes in people with diabetes mellitus of different Russian-speaking nationalities. Russian-speaking immigrants and Russian Germans may require a different type of diabetes education than native inhabitants.
Design: A literature review among subjective theories of illness, personal resources, and recommendations for counseling was carried out.
Methods: Literature published since 2009 was searched, including qualitative and quantitative studies. Data were found for Jewish and Russian-speaking immigrants with diabetes mellitus, but not for Russian Germans. The scope of the search was therefore widened. Literature on the general locus of control, health beliefs, and diabetes education was included.
Results: Seventeen articles were identified. These studies discussed health beliefs and behaviors including externalized attribution of causes and internalized locus of control. Homeopathic and natural therapies were generally preferred over other medications. However, socioeconomic status, education level, and external circumstances in the country of origin were more important than differentiation by nationality.
Conclusion: Therapists require knowledge of the living conditions in immigrants’ country of origin to guide provision of medical advice. Immigrants’ general education levels, socioeconomic status, and previous living conditions are also important.