Knowledge and Practice of Medical Nutrition Therapy by Diabetes Care Givers in Ilorin, Nigeria

  • J K Olarinoye
  • G H Ano-Edwards
  • I Alade
Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Care-Givers


The misconceptions regarding nutrition therapy for people with diabetes (PWD) may not be unconnected with the recommendations given to them by their attending health providers. Thus, this study was designed to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of medical nutrition therapy (MNT) by doctors and nurses taking care of PWD in Ilorin, Nigeria with the use of a questionnaire. Sixty five (53.3%) of the 120 respondents were doctors, while the remaining 56 (46.7%) were nurses. About 93% of the nurses and 72.3% of the doctors took a course in nutrition in school (P = 0.02). Only 40.6% of doctors refer PWD to the dietitian, while 55.3% of the nurses do so (P = 0.01). About 83% of the doctors, as against 57.1% of the nurses allow their patients to take starchy foods occasionally (P = 0.005). Majority of the nurses (73.2%) feel diabetics must take beans always as against 35.9% of doctors (P < 0.05). While 32.1% of the nurses felt that PWD must always take honey, only 6.3% of doctors shared this view (P = 0.003). The conclusion from this study is that majority of health professionals taking care of diabetics are not adequately informed about diabetes-medical nutrition therapy. Also, most of their beliefs, especially those of the nurses, were not evidence-based, and lack scientific merit. More detailed clinical nutrition education should therefore be introduced into the curricula of medical schools and schools of nursing. Update courses should also be organized for the health care givers

Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus; Medical Nutrition Therapy; Care-Givers

The Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 51 (4) 2007: pp. 55-58

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eISSN: 0189-0964