Patient's Characteristics Affecting Attendance At A Diabetes Out-Patients Clinic In Enugu
Aim: To study the demographic characteristics and to compare glycaemic control and prevalence of diabetic complications in attendees and defaulters seen in the diabetes clinic. Method: Over a one year period, Jan 2005 to Jan 2006 a prospective study of patients registered in the diabetes clinic was carried out using a questionnaire for demographic characteristics and clinical assessment for presence of diabetic complications and mean fasting blood sugar estimation for glycaemic control. Result: One hundred and twenty five (125) attendees and 54 defaulters from the diabetes clinic were studied. Defaulters had a significantly higher prevalence of the following characteristics: longer disease duration (>5years vs < 5years), longer journey to the clinic, higher mean fasting blood sugar, Defaulters had a higher prevalence of retinopathy, foot disease and nephropathy. There was no statistical difference in age, sex, and educational level attained in the two groups. Conclusion: These results suggest that distance and by inference cost of travel are factors that determine patients' access to clinic facilities. The high rate of poor glycaemic control and high prevalence of diabetic complications in defaulters is worrying. These factors are to be targeted by health planners in Nigeria to improve health outcome for Nigerian diabetic patients.
Keywords: Diabetics, clinic attendance, health, planning
Tropical Journal of Medical Research Vol. 11 (1) 2007: pp. 29-31