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Patients with diabetes mellitus in a tertiary care hospital; their knowledge on disease, treatments and complications

Author: 
Kisokanth, G., Prathapan, S., Indrakumar, J. and Joseph, J.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a major health problem worldwide. It is a disease which is not cured once it is developed, but it can be controlled. It causes many complications when uncontrolled but can be prevented with proper control. Overall knowledge on health promotion is essential to prevent complications of DM. The aim of this study is to assess the knowledge of DM, its treatments, complications, prevention of complications and maintaining general health among the Tamils attending the Diabetic Education Center at the Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. A descriptive cross sectional study involving a systematic sample of 384 patients was conducted using an interviewer administered semi structured questionnaire in Tamil diabetic patients attending the Diabetic Education Center at the Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. Majority of patients (73.3%) scored less than 50 in the knowledge test and critical gaps in knowledge were revealed, especially regarding knowledge of risk factors, symptoms, type of DM and fasting blood sugar level. However patients of younger age (less than 50 years), higher education levels, high monthly income, with a family history of diabetes and unemployed obtained significantly higher mean knowledge score (P<0.05). Knowledge among subjects (80%) regarding complications of DM was optimal. Many subjects (95.3%) reported routinely controlling their DM through modifying diet. A majority of subjects had an unsatisfactory level of overall knowledge related to DM. Further, education programmes are needed to address critical gaps in patients’ knowledge.

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