Pan African Medical Journal

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Limited knowledge of diabetes in patients attending an outpatient diabetes clinic at a referral hospital in Zimbabwe: a cross-sectional study

Esther Mufunda, Åsa Ernersson, Katarina Hjelm


Introduction: Diabetes mellitus (DM) has increased globally, with a significant increase noted in African communities. Self-care health-related behavior is determined by beliefs about health and illness which are based on the person's knowledge of diabetes. The present study aimed to assess patients' diabetes awareness and level of diabetes knowledge in Zimbabwean adults with diabetes attending an outpatient diabetes clinic at a main referral hospital. Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, the Diabetes Knowledge Test (DKT) was used to measure 96 (71 women and 25 men) patients' knowledge of diabetes and their treatment. Both descriptive and analytic statistical methods were used. Results: Most respondents had poor knowledge in all the three knowledge categories, total knowledge of diabetes, general knowledge of diabetes and knowledge of insulin use. Major knowledge gaps were noted related to insulin use, glycemic control and diet. Attending DM classes was significantly associated with general knowledge about diabetes (p 0.026) while the level of education was an independent determinant of Total Knowledge and Insulin use knowledge scores. Conclusion: The identified knowledge gaps need to be addressed to control and minimize diabetes mellitus-related complications.

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