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Problems faced by newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus patients at primary health care facilities at Mopani District, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Diabetes mellitus can be a frightening experience for newly diagnosed patients. The aim of this study was to determine and describe the problems faced by newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus patients at primary healthcare facilities at Mopani district, Limpopo Province. A qualitative, descriptive and contextual research methodology was adopted to describe the problems faced by the newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus patients. The population consisted of all newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus patients who were taking treatment at three clinics of Mopani district. Purposive sampling was used to select the eight participants who were included in the semi-structured interview sessions until data saturation was reached. Semi-structured interviews with a guide were used to collect data. The data were analysed using Tesch’s open coding method. The findings indicated that newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus patients faced a number of challenges such as emotional disturbances, fear, anger, denial, frustration, depression, uncertainty and poor interpersonal relationships with nurses. These confirm that newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus patients are experiencing several problems that need to be addressed. The study recommended that all health care users should be routinely screened for diabetes mellitus and be given detailed information about the early signs, symptoms and complications of the disease which can develop if a person does not seek early intervention. Patients diagnosed with diabetes mellitus need continuous assessment and counselling to cope with the disease. The health care system needs to review the strategies and policies on chronic disease management.