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Knowledge on Diabetes Mellitus and its Management Strategies among Diabetic Outpatients in a Tertiary Referral Hospital in Kenya

Author: Nyamu D.G. , Juma R , Mwangangi E.M , Maru S.M , Tele A. K , Gitonga I.
Is Part Of: Pharmaceutical Journal of Kenya, Volume 23, No. 2 (2017)
Background: Good knowledge about diabetes and its management enhances the ability of patients to cope and adjust to their illness.
Objectives: To determine the knowledge on diabetes mellitus and its management among diabetic outpatients at Kenyatta National Hospital, Diabetic Clinic.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study involving 105 consenting diabetic outpatients, aged ≥18 years. Consecutive sampling was used to collect data using pre-designed semi structured interviewer administered questionnaires. Patients’ knowledge on diabetes mellitus including cause, symptoms, complications, medications, dietary control, importance of exercises and diabetes affiliate organizations was collected and analysed using IBM statistical package for social sciences version 21. Chi square tests were used to compute associations between participants’ sociodemographics and outcome variables at p≤0.05.
Results: The ratio of males to females was approximately 1:1. The mean age of the participants and duration of diabetes was 41.0±16.0 and 6.0±5.0 years, respectively. Knowledge on causes, signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus was statistically significantly associated with the education level (p=0.0001) and was more common among males (p=0.01). Knowledge on dietary control (p=0.02), exercise (p=0.04) and complications (p=0.05) was more common among males and the more educated. Irrespective of sociodemographic variables (p>0.05), only 33.3% of the patients knew their medication and dosing schedules in relation to meals. A large proportion (90%) of the patients was unaware of the role of diabetes affiliate organizations.
Conclusion: Knowledge on diabetes among diabetic outpatients varies with level of education and gender. More health education is, however, advocated to diabetic patients in order to increase their knowledge on antidiabetic medication and diabetes affiliate organizations. Future work should, however, be carried out to correlate the patients’ level of knowledge and long term glycaemic control.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus, patient knowledge, control measures, antidiabetic medication, diabetic affiliate organizations
Publisher: The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya
ISSN: 2411-6386