Assessment of diabetes-related knowledge among health care providers in a tertiary health institution in Nigeria
Background: Management of diabetic patients cut across many specialties because of the diverse presentations and complications of the disease. About a third of patients with type 2 diabetes are on insulin either alone or
in combination with oral anti- diabetic agents. Also, all patients with type 1 diabetes are on insulin. This study assessed diabetes- related knowledge of health care professionals in a tertiary institution with particular emphasis
on inpatient diabetes management skills and insulin therapy.
Methodology and design: This cross- sectional study utilised a 42- item questionnaire in assessing diabetesrelated knowledge of specialists, resident doctors and nurses in departments of medicine, surgery, and gynaecology at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.
Results: Of the 185 subjects approached, 155 completed the questionnaire. Knowledge was highest among specialists and lowest among nurses. Participants from the Internal Medicine service (specialists, residents and nurses) had the highest level of knowledge score (44±12%). The mean score (%) of study participants on knowledge of insulin therapy was 36%; highest scores was obtained among specialists in internal medicine (55%) and lowest scores were recorded among nurses in gynaecology (27%). Similar low knowledge scores were found among participants on ketoacidosis (38%) and hypoglycaemia (34%). There was a significant difference between resident doctors in medicine and residents’ doctors in gynaecology (55% vs. 39%, p< 0.05) in the knowledge of diabetic ketoacidosis. Although comfort level was highest among specialists in gynaecology (5.09), this did not translate to better knowledge in most domains assessed.
Conclusion: The knowledge of diabetes in patient care was fair and acceptable among specialists and resident doctors in internal medicine but significantly poor among specialists and resident doctors in other fields/
specialties. Nurses on the other hand, had very low knowledge in diabetes. This correlated with comfort levels (except in gynaecology) in dealing with issues pertaining to diabetes care.