Diabetes-related knowledge, attitudes and practices [KAP] of adult patients with type 2 diabetes in Maseru, Lesotho
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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major public health concern in Lesotho and is the fourth ranking cause of death in that country. A steady increase in the proportion of patients admitted into hospitals with diabetes-related complications has been observed and may be attributed to poor diabetes-related knowledge, attitudes and practices of adults with T2DM. The study followed a quantitative, descriptive design. Convenient selection of clinics followed by convenient selection of participants (n=291) was used. The researcher interviewed participants using a pre-designed questionnaire based on Azjen’s theory of planned behaviour. Descriptive statistics, namely frequencies and percentages for categorical data, and medians and percentiles for continuous data were calculated. The study received ethical clearance from the University of the Free State and the Lesotho Health Research an Ethics Committee. The majority (63%) of participants were elderly (median 61 years), obese (65.6%) black females with less than four years of secondary school education completed (79%). The study found median percentage of behavioural, normative and control beliefs (reflecting the knowledge component) to be (range: 73.9%-77.8.5%), implying that most participants (85.2%) had a positive attitude towards diabetes (reflecting the attitudes component), which would positively influence the intention to act out certain positive diabetes health-related behaviour. The subjective norms and perceived behavioural control (reflecting the practices component) median was 50%. The participants (95.2%) had very strong intentions to act out certain diabetes-related behaviour. Behavioural, normative and control beliefs (knowledge) were found to be high, while normative beliefs and perceived behavioural control was low. These findings lead to specific recommendations related to the way healthcare providers comprehensively manage T2DM in Maseru. To begin with, diabetes related pamphlets should be distributed to patients to further strengthen their knowledge about the disease. Secondly, clinic based buddie or caregiver support groups are recommended to change the negative perceptions about T2DM of the community within which the patients stay, as it negatively affects patients’ self-management. Lastly, support groups focussed on skills counselling for T2DM patients are recommended to strengthen good practices that reinforce self-management.