n African Vision and Eye Health - Knowledge and practices related to diabetes mellitus among adults with diabetes in the Mopani District, Limpopo Province, South Africa : original research

Volume 75 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2413-3183
  • E-ISSN: 2410-1516
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Diabetes mellitus (DM) among black South Africans is on the increase because of population ageing, unhealthy lifestyles, and obesity. Knowledge about DM and appropriate practices related to DM are keys to its proper management.

To assess the knowledge and practices related to DM among black South Africans aged 40 years and older with DM.
The study was conducted in seven government health care facilities in the Mopani District.
This was a health facility-based cross-sectional quantitative study. Structured interviews were used to obtain information which included socio-demographic profiles as well as knowledge about DM and its ocular complications.
Participants ( = 225) included 161 (71.6%) women and 64 (28.4%) men aged 40-90 years (mean and standard deviation of 61.5 ± 10.49 years). Many (68.3%) did not know the types of DM and only 32.4% knew the type of DM they had. Many knew about the importance of special diet (84.5%) and physical activity (64.4%) in DM management; however, only 52% knew about the importance of losing weight. Many (71.5%) followed a special diet as advised, only 29.1% always tried to lose weight, and 48.3% engaged in physical activity. Many (82.6%) knew that DM could cause vision problems, but only 49.3% have had their eyes examined. Most (99.5%) of those on oral medication and those on insulin (93.1%) reported using their treatment as prescribed.
The knowledge and practices related to DM among the participants were good in certain aspects but poor in others, suggesting the need for programmes on DM awareness in this population.

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