Patients Understanding of Diabetes and Self-Management in Kigali University Teaching Hospital (CHUK)

Gabriel Makiriro, Regine Mugeni, Leway Kailani



Non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, account for 36% of total deaths in Rwanda.  Integration of diabetes self-management education improves patient glycemic control. This study assessed the understanding of diabetes and self-care practices among patients who have diabetes at Kigali University Teaching Hospital (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali: CHUK). A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on people with diabetes attending CHUK from December 18th, 2017, to April 30th, 2018. Ninety-five participants were enrolled in this study, with a mean age of 56 years. 87.4% of participants had type 2 diabetes, 85.3% received information on diabetes from medical staff, and 40.0% had diabetes for less than 5 years. The mean knowledge score among the participants was 12.2±2.2/20 (range 5-16), however, the majority of participants did not know the etiology of diabetes and 45.3% did not know the role of the urine test. Only 36.8% of participants knew the recommended diabetic meal plan and 47.4% knew the normal fasting blood glucose range.  The mean score for attitude and practice towards diabetes were respectively 5.2±1.0/6 and 6.2±1.4/10.  Poor practice was observed in physical activity where 49.5% of participants never exercised.  There was good knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding diabetes and self-management among participants in general. However, there exists inadequate knowledge on the etiology of diabetes, the role of regular urine tests, fasting blood glucose normal values and diabetic meal plan, and poor practice of exercise among participants. Programs that promote awareness of diabetes and self-management education among patients with diabetes should be developed, enhanced, and utilized for better disease control.