How much do diabetic patients know about self monitoring of their blood sugar?

  • TE Ambakederemo
  • J Jumbo
  • ST Dodiyi Manuel


Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease and a growing public health problem  worldwide. Its management emphasizes patient education and participation. Self-monitoring of blood  glucose (SMBG) has been shown to be beneficial in glycaemic controls and to reduce complications of DM.
Aim: To critically appraise the knowledge and use of SMBG by our diabetic patients.
Methods: One hundred and eighteen patients attending the diabetic clinic of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa state were recruited consecutively over a one month period  (May-June 2013). Patients were assessed with self-administered questionnaires to obtain their knowledge of SMBG. Information obtained included their biodata, the duration, type and method of treatment of DM and knowledge of methods of SMBG. The data obtained were analyzed using simple statistical methods.
Results: Out of the 118 patients, 53 (44.9%) were males and 65 (55.1%) were females. Most of the patients were type 2 diabetics (type 1: 4.2%, type2: 95.8%). Of the 118 patients, 111 (94.1%) were aware of SMBG. Among the 111 patients who had knowledge of SMBG, 107(96.4%) learnt about it from a health care provider, while the others were from relatives or friends. Only 39 (33.1%) patients had glucometers. Twenty nine of the patients with personal glucometers checked their blood sugar at least once daily, 2 patients never used their glucometers, 7 patients checked their blood glucose using their personal glucometer only once a week while one patient admitted to using his glucometer to check his blood sugar level only once a month.
Conclusion: Although majority of the patients knew about self monitoring of their blood glucose, the practice of it was quite poor. SMBG especially using glucometers still needs to be emphasized and compliance advised. 

Keywords: Self monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), Diabetes mellitus, Glucometer

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eISSN: 0795-3038