Knowledge of Diabetes Mellitus among Registered Nurses in Benin City
Purpose: To determine the level of diabetes knowledge and knowledge gaps among registered nurses. Methods: We conducted a cross sectional study among four major hospitals located in Benin City. Levels of knowledge were assessed using the 23-item University of Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Centre Knowledge Test questionnaire. Demographic characteristics of the respondents were also outlined. Association and differences between nurses’ knowledge scores and relevant demographic variables were carried out using Pearson correlation and Student t-tests as appropriate. Results: The 191 nurses who participated in the study had an average score of 61.9±14.24 on a 100 point scale. No nurse was able to correctly answer all questions. Nurses were able to recognise long term complications of diabetes with 86.9%, 86.4% of the respondents answering correctly questions on symptoms of numbness and tingling, cause of high blood glucose, and problems associated with diabetes respectively. Although, nurses knew that diet plays a great role in management of diabetes mellitus, they were not aware of the effect of “unsweetened” fruit juice on blood glucose (15.2%), a free food for a iabetic (20.9%), and the identification of a proper diabetes diet (42.9%). There was a statistical difference in the knowledge scores of nurses that had a family history of diabetes and those that did not (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The knowledge of the nurses sampled as regards diabetes mellitus was less than satisfactory; areas of knowledge deficits include diet and signs of acute complications of diabetes as well as proper foot care. We suggest regular appraisal of nurses’ knowledge requirement followed by educational training tailored to improve nurses’ level of knowledge.
Keywords: Nurses, Health education, Understanding of diabetes.