Assessement of the level of knowledge, self care practice and glycemic control among patients with type 2 diabetes
Background. Self care among patients with diabetes plays an integral role in achieving desirable outcomes. We sought to identify knowledge deficits and inadequacies in self care practices among patients with type 2diabetes. This may facilitate interventions that are specific to the patients’ needs. Objectives. To determine the level of knowledge on diabetes, self care practices and glycemic control among patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods. This was a descriptive cross sectional study conducted at the diabetes outpatient clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital. A structured questionnaire was used to evaluate knowledge on diabetes and self care practices and blood samples were drawn to measure hemoglobin A1C. Results. 171 patients were recruited. There was a female preponderance at 64%. The mean age was 59 years with a median duration of illness of 9 years. The level of knowledge was good with a mean of 5.8 out of 10; 77.2% of the patients scored more than 5 out of 10 on the SKILLD questionnaire. More than 40% of patients had knowledge deficits in identifying hypoglycemia, frequency and duration of physical activity and targets for glycemic control for hemoglobin A1C and fasting glucose. The self care practice was suboptimal; physical activity and self monitoring of blood glucose were practiced approximately 2.8 and 1.3 days in a week respectively. Only 29.5% of patients achieved a glycated hemoglobin equal to or less than 7%. Conclusion. Patients demonstrated good knowledge of diabetes though with poor self care practice particularly in areas where they had significant knowledge deficits. There is need to emphasize practical diabetic skills and self care activities in diabetes self management education to enhance knowledge, facilitate problem solving and improve self care among patients.