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Background: Lack of knowledge on diabetes and self care practices among diabetics are some of the important factors influencing the progression of diabetes and its complications.
Objective: To assess patients knowledge on diabetes and self care practices and relate this to achievement of satisfactory glycemic control.
Methodology: This was a cross sectional study at the outpatient clinic of Butere subcounty Hospital involving all diabetic patients. Data was collected using pretested structured questionnaires. Blood was drawn for random blood sugar testing. Data was analyzed for descriptive and inferential statistics using Microsoft excel 2007 and Statistical Package for Social Scientists version 22.
Results: A total of 71 patients participated in this study, 47.8% were males. Majority (29.6%) were aged between 46-55 years. Seventy three percent were married, 86.5% had secondary education and below with only 4.2% having university education. Majority (46.5%) were self employed while11.3% were retired. Forty eight percent of the patients had diabetes for more than 5 years and majorities (80%) were on oral medication. Diabetes patients had poor glycemic control with 87.3% having random blood sugar more than 8mmol/l with the mean random blood sugar of12.2 ±3.7 mmol/l. Majority of the patients (64.8%) had poor knowledge. The mean total knowledge score was 32 ± 4.3; diabetes knowledge score was 16 ± 4.2 and self care knowledge score was 15.6 ±3.9. Patients scored poorly on self care practices with more than 71% scoring less than 50% of the score. There was a negative correlation between random blood sugar and knowledge score(r = -0.340, p = 0.004).Patients with good glycemic control had knowledge mean of 37.3 ± 0.9 while those with poor glycemic control had mean of 31.2 ± 0.7. The difference was statistically significant (t = 2.999, p = 0.004).
Discussion: It is evident from this study that diabetics at Butere Subcounty Hospital do not have adequate knowledge of the diabetes especially on the self care practices aspect as more than 80% of them scored poorly. Poor knowledge in these patients was associated with unsatisfactory glycemic control. There was a negative correlation between level of knowledge and glycemic control among these patients and the correlation was statistically significant
Conclusion: Diabetic patients at Butere subcounty Hospital had low knowledge on diabetes and self care practices and this was associated with unsatisfactory glycemic control.
Recommendation: There is need to find out if knowledge deficit in these patients is the cause of unsatisfactory glycemic control.