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Practice and perception of self - management among diabetics in Taif, KSA: Impact of demographic factors

Khalid O. Abu Sabbah, Abdusalam A. Al-Shehri.


Background: Diabetes is a chronic disease that can be treated but not cured. The medications can help to improve symptoms and to slow down the progression of this disease and it complications. Effective self-management of diabetes has long been acknowledged as essential in the maintenance of good glycemic control and prevention of diabetic complications.

Aims & Objective: To assess practice of diabetic patients regarding self-Management in Taif region as well as to collaret specific demographic characteristics associated with practice that may affect patients’ perceptions regarding diabetes self-management.

Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted including diabetic patients, who attended the Family Medicine and Endocrinology clinics during regular day working hours (from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm) throughout January, 2011. They were recruited from four hospitals, belonging to Ministry of Defence and Aviation and Ministry of Health by stratified random sampling. An interview was conducted to determine subject's practice, regarding self-management, and potential factors influencing this practice and these practices of self-management using the SDSCA questionnaire.

Results: A total of 386 respondents were interviewed in the current study. Their age ranged between 20 and 70 years with a mean of 49.03±13.05. More than half of them were males (56.7%) with a male to female ratio of 1.3:1. The duration of diabetes mellitus was more than 8 years in 46.1% of the participants. More than one-third of participated diabetic patients were aware of their type of diabetes (38.9%) while less than one-third of them were aware of Haemoglobin A1c (29.3%). The highest level of practice was observed regarding compliance with medication (94.7%), while the lowest level of practice was detected regarding blood glucose testing (22.4%). Their practice regarding specific diabetic diet, practicing physical exercise and foot care were 41.7%, 41.2% and 53.4% respectively.

Conclusion: This study reflects the poor practice about the management plan of diabetic care particularly the non-pharmacological component of the plan. As, it has been observed that compliance is better with medical aspects of the regimen (e.g. medications) than with life style aspects of the regimen (diet and physical exercise).

Key words: Self-Monitoring; Practice; Compliance, Diabetes Mellitus; Haemoglobin A1c

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