Self-Care Behaviors and Glycemic Control Among Type 2 Diabetic Patients in Freetown, Sierra Leone

  • Manal Ghazzawi
  • Gbenga Fajemirokun


Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century. Type 2 diabetes seems to be claiming lives of Sierra Leoneans due to lack of awareness about the disease and failure to adopt healthy self-care behaviours. Objectives: This study investigated: patient knowledge about diabetes and its management and the factors associated with non-adherence to self-care behaviors. Methods: The study was carried out in Freetown (Western Area) at a tertiary health facility Connaught Hospital and CitiGlobe Pharmacy which runs a diabetes clinic. Survey questions on structured questionnaire were administered to patients in the study locations. Data analyses was done using descriptive and inferential statistics. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences software (SPSS) was used for the analyses. Linear regression analysis, Chi-squared and Students T tests were used to explore factors associated with diabetes knowledge among participants. Results: Of the 338 participants in the study 56.2% were females; linear regression analyses revealed that age, occupation and education from doctor were significantly associated with patients’ knowledge (P<0.05). Overall diabetes knowledge score was an inadequate score of 38.86%. Analysis also revealed there were statistically significant differences in the distribution of knowledge scores by age (P=0.005), level of education (P=0.008) and occupation (P=0.016).A total of 85.8% found it very expensive to adopt a strict and healthy diet and 37.3% did not follow a strict diet plan. Only 13% of the diabetic patients checked their blood sugar levels more than twice a day while 16.3% did self-blood monitoring of glucose once a day. Only 25.1% engaged in regular exercises. Conclusion: The study clearly highlights the need for patients to adhere to self-care behaviors in multiple domains, including food choices, physical activity and blood glucose monitoring. Hence, the management of diabetes needs more than just being knowledgeable about the disease, implementation of self-care behaviours plays a vital role in the successful management of diabetes.
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