Knowledge, Practices and Experiences of Type II Diabetic Patients on Self- Care Management at the Limbe and Buea Treatment Centers

Author(s): Andigema Sharon Negsang, Tendongfor Nicholas, Jules Clement Nguedia Assob, Kah Emmanuel Nji, Njajou Omer.

Background: The prevalence of diabetes is increasing globally. The prevalence and burden of type II diabetes are increasing steadily in Sub- Saharan Africa as a result of poor knowledge on the disease and its risk factors, as well as use of disease prevention techniques. Even when patients are well-informed, appropriate self-care management behaviors are not always adopted. This study aimed to assess knowledge, perception and uptake on diabetic self-care management of diabetic patients at the Limbe and Buea Treatment centers in SW Region of Cameroon.

Methods: The study was a cross sectional survey involving diabetic patients randomly selected from the Buea and Limbe regional hospitals. A modified Diabetes Knowledge Test 2 (DKT2) consisting of 22 questions was used to determine the level of knowledge of diabetes as well as selfcare management of the disease. The second section of the questionnaire consisted of a modified Diabetic Self-Care Activities questions used to assess patient practices towards Diabetes. Patients’ practices and experiences of diabetes were assessed on major lifestyle parameters including diet, exercise, home blood sugar monitor, medication compliance and problem solving using the modified diabetic self-care management questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 25. The study was conducted from June to September 2022. Results: A total of 385 Diabetic were enrolled with the majority (303 (75.3%)) having a good understanding of diabetes. It appears that 324 (84.3%) did not successfully manage their own care, and 314 (81.6%) did not indicate any physical limitations in engaging in any sort of activity. Most, (323(78.3%)) patients said they only exercise occasionally, while 51 (13.2%) affirm to exercise regularly. Regarding medication compliance, the majority of 329 (85.5%) patients occasionally neglected to take their medications, despite the fact that 324 (78.2%) patients consumed alcohol and 290 (75.3%) patients had adequate awareness of their disease. Educational level, income level, occupation or religion did not show any association with participants’ knowledge on self-care management approaches. Singles and unmarried participants were 2.4 times more likely to possess greater understanding of suggested self-care management techniques than those who identified as divorced or married.

Conclusion: Patients had good knowledge on diabetes. Daily adherence to treatment and exercise, which are foundational self-care management behaviors, were poorly practiced. The provision of contextualized diabetic self-care information to patients is still required. Diabetes education should be tailored to the patient's context and ability to cope with lifestyle changes associated with diabetes.

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