Rwanda Journal of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Diabetes health education: nurses’ knowledge of essential components at a Rwandan hospital

Vedaste Bagweneza, Priscille Musabirema, Marie Josée Mwiseneza, Anita Collins, Busisiwe Rosemary Bhengu


Background: Diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM) is the most prevalent form of diabetes that has continued to increase worldwide over the past decades. The cornerstone of T2DM management is education on self-management. Evidence shows that nurses have insufficient knowledge of the content of T2DM patient education.

Objective: To assess nurses’ knowledge of health education content for T2DM patients, and to establish the relationship between their education and knowledge level of T2DM health education.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional design and total population sampling strategy were used to recruit nursing staff at a medical/surgical unit. Fifty-one nurses at the referral hospital of Rwanda completed the self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis.

Results: Nurses exhibited poor knowledge of diabetes health education. There was no significant relationship between the nurses’ level of education and diabetes health education knowledge (p=0.102).

Conclusion: Nurses had good general knowledge of diabetes, though a low level of knowledge of diabetes health education in this low-resource setting. Hospitals equipped with a T2DM protocol and appropriate staff training would likely improve the nurses’ knowledge and patient care outcomes.

Keywords: Type 2 diabetes mellitus, nurses, knowledge, patients’ self management education

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