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Health professionals’ knowledge and attitudes to healthcare-seeking practices and complementary alternative medicine usage in Ugandans with diabetes: a cross-sectional survey

Fortunate Atwine
Katarina Hjelm


Introduction: Healthcare-seeking behaviour among persons with diabetes has been investigated to a limited extent, and not from professionals’ perspective. The aim of the study was to describe healthcare professionals’ knowledge, attitudes and practice concerning healthcare-seeking behaviour and the use of complementary and alternative medicine among persons with diabetes. Methods: A cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire was conducted in western Uganda. Nurses, midwives or nurse assistants 72.2%, physicians 12% and clinical officers 10% volunteered to participate in the study with a total 108 (93% response rate) response rate. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse data with frequencies, percentages and summarized in tables. Results: Most of the healthcare providers perceived more uneducated people to be at risk of developing complications related to diabetes (66.7%) and that most of the patients with diabetes were not knowledgeable about signs and symptoms of diabetes before being diagnosed (75.9%). The main reasons inducing persons with diabetes to seek care outside the health care sector were reported to be seeking a cure for the condition, influence from the popular sector, the accessibility of the place and signs of complications of diabetes related to poor glycaemic control. Healthcare providers had relatively positive attitudes towards using complementary
and alternative medicine. Conclusion: Insufficient knowledge about diabetes, compromised healthcare-seeking practices including drug procurement for diabetes seem to be barriers to diabetes management. Patients were thus reported to be burdened with co-morbidities of complications of diabetes related to poor glycaemic control.

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eISSN: 1937-8688