Main Article Content

National guidelines for the management of Diabetes Mellitus: A nursing perspective

CA O’Brien,
D Van Rooyen
S Carlson


Since 1994, the emphasis in the provision of health services in South Africa has shifted from hospital-based care to a community-based comprehensive primary health care system, especially important in the management of chronic diseases, such as Diabetes Mellitus (DM). The incidence of DM is rapidly increasing on a global basis according to the World Health Organization, resulting in the development of evidence-based guidelines for control and management of diabetes mellitus in many countries around the world. The aim of these guidelines is to provide optimal care for patients as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, facilitate the early detection of the condition and to provide a framework for patient education, essential for self-management and self-monitoring of the condition.
Registered nurses play an extremely important role in the management of patients with DM. In this study, the views of registered nurses on the national guidelines for the control and management of DM (Type 2) were explored and described and methods of facilitating the implementation of the national guidelines in practice were identified. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual approach was used. Registered nurses who participated in this study had definite positive views on the guidelines, were satisfied with the content of the guidelines and viewed them as an effective contribution to the management of DM, if implemented correctly. However, the participants identified
several factors hindering the effective implementation of the guidelines. Recommendations to assist registered nurses in the implementation and utilisation of the national guidelines for the management of DM were constructed.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus; national guidelines; primary health care; registered nurse; outpatient departments

Health SA Gesondheid Vol. 11 (4) 2006: pp. 32-46

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eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848