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Original Papers

Knowledge, awareness and attitudes towards the management of diabetes mellitus among patients in Sri Lankan suburban community

Authors:

W. Jayawickrama ,

South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, Malambe, LK
About W.
Faculty of Medicine


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K. Perera

South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, Malambe, LK
About K.
Faculty of Medicine


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Abstract

Introduction: Due to the sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits, the prevalence of diabetes is increasing rapidly in urban Sri Lanka than the rural suburbs. Awareness of the disease is pivotal for the prevention and minimization of diabetes-related complications. No information on patient's knowledge is recorded for Sri Lanka, in a country where a comparably high literacy level is recorded. The objective of this study was to evaluate the awareness, knowledge and attitudes regarding their disease among patients with diabetes mellitus in a population of Colombo suburb.

 

Method: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted over 6 months enrolling a total of 131 patients with Diabetes mellitus. A self-administered questionnaire with demographic information and information regarding the symptoms, the diagnosis, complications, treatment, prevention and prognosis of the disease was used to collect data. A percentage knowledge score was calculated based on the composite score of each patient and the knowledge level was determined.

 

Results: 76 females (58.01%) and 56 (42.75%) males participated the study. The mean age of the population was 57.56 years and the mean duration of diabetes was 10.57 years. A very small percentage (12.98%) of the patients had formal education on the disease. The mean percentage knowledge score was 37.7% with a minimum of 5.3% and a maximum of 73.7%. The knowledge level of 48.82% of patients was ‘poor’ while 28.3% showed ‘very poor’ knowledge. Only 22.88% demonstrated ‘good’ knowledge and none had ‘very good’ knowledge. Although the majority of the patients had a ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ knowledge regarding the diagnosis (64.1%) and treatment (88.0%), 54.2% had a ‘good’ or ‘very good’ knowledge regarding complications. Only 46.7% patients had ‘good’ or ‘very good’ knowledge level on prevention and prognosis of the disease. The study failed to establish statistically significant relationships between knowledge level and gender (P = 0.33), literacy level (p = 0.445), duration of diabetes (P = 0.061) or past participation in diabetes education (P = 0.437).

 

Conclusion: Despite having good health care fascilties, awareness and knowledge of diabetes mellitus are inadequate among patient of Colombo suburb. Urgent focus and better action plans are needed to create awareness on diabetes mellitus with the aim of a sustainable reduction in diabetes burden in future.
How to Cite: Jayawickrama, W. & Perera, K., (2016). Knowledge, awareness and attitudes towards the management of diabetes mellitus among patients in Sri Lankan suburban community. Sri Lanka Journal of Diabetes Endocrinology and Metabolism. 6(2), pp.21–30. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sjdem.v6i2.7311
Published on 29 Aug 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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