Knowledge, attitudes and practices related to diabetes mellitus among people with diabetes attending Kawolo Hospital
Background: The prevalence of diabetes is increasing worldwide and the burden is worse in the Sub-Saharan Africa where the health budgets are already constrained. It is well known that diabetes education is a pillar to diabetes care. Diabetes education has shown to improve people’s knowledge, change behaviour and development of positive attitudes towards diabetes. The positive attitudes eventually lead to preventive practices of diabetic related complications. At Kawolo hospital, regular diabetes education is being provided but its benefits are questionable because 60% of attendances present with at least one complication. This could be partly explained by low levels of patients’ self-care. However there are no studies that have assessed diabetes patients’ knowledge, attitudes and practices in such a setting. Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and preventive practices related to diabetes complications among people with diabetes attending Kawolo hospital. Methods: The study was both quantitative and qualitative across-sectional descriptive study. Data was collected from 169 people with diabetes attending diabetic clinic at Kawolo hospital. A systematic random sampling procedure was used and data was collected using pretested structured questionnaires. Data was entered into Epidata then exported to STATA 10.0 for analysis. Qualitative data was collected by conducting 4 focus group discussions. Results: Respondents had basic knowledge on diabetes, had good knowledge on risk factors with an average performance score of 2.8 and the respondents did not have knowledge on most of the complications, treatments and life style recommendations on diabetes. The respondents had positive attitudes towards with an average performance score of 3.0. All the 103(64.8%) and 136(80.5%) followed the recommended physical activities and recommended diet respectively. Nearly all respondents 167(98.8%) reported having their weights taken in the last two months and 158(94.1%) monitored their blood sugar once a month. Conclusion: The respondents had reasonable knowledge on diabetes, positive attitudes towards diabetes and good preventive practices of diabetes related complications. However, respondents did not have knowledge on most of the complications, treatments and life style recommendations on diabetes hence more education is needed to improve knowledge these areas.