Nutritional knowledge, atitudes and practices in management of type 2 diabetes among adults in Nakuru provincial hospital
Waithaka, Lucy Gathoni
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Diabetes mellitus is a clinical disorder characterized by elevated blood glucose level. It presents a high burden for individuals as they have to live with it. Diabetes being a chronic disease requires lifelong dietary management, regular physical exercise and medication. The success of diabetes management depends largely upon people's compliance with the prescribed management plan. Therefore, the people's behavior is crucial to the successful management of the disease. 'File purpose of this study was to investigate peoples' knowledge of type 2 diabetes on nutrition management, their attitudes and nutrition practices. This was a descriptive survey that employed questionnaire for data collection. Data collected included demographic information, medical history, attitudes of the people with type 2 diabetes towards diabetes, nutrition knowledge and practices; physical activity, food frequency and dietary patterns. Target group comprised of males (37.5%) and (62.5%) females with type 2 diabetes aged between 25 and 75 years attending clinics in Nakuru provincial general hospital. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Anthropometric data were analyzed using Epi Info. Chi square tests and Pearson Product Correlation were used to determine the relationships between the variables in the study at p<0.05 level of significant. Likert's scale with five points was used to measure attitudes held by diabetic people while knowledge total scores were computed for each subject by summing up total score. Scores were grouped as poor, fair or good. Quantitative data were presented using tables and graphs while qualitative data are presented in text form describing relationship between variables. Majority of the respondent with type 2 diabetes patient engaged in poor nutrition practices such as meal patterns; time interval between meals and total meals taken in a day. Practices on physical activity were good as majority (83.3%) engaged in physical activity although they did not know the right time to exercise and balancing meals and physical activity. Findings indicate that, nutrition knowledge was fair (63.3%) among people with type 2 diabetes. Majority of people with type 2 diabetes (71.7%) held positive attitude as regards diabetes besides nutrition management. There was a significant relationship between nutrition knowledge and attitude held towards diabetes (p = 0.047). Additionally there was no significant relationship between knowledge on nutrition management of type 2 diabetes and various practices like no of meals (p = 0.069). There was a significant relationship between knowledge and some of the socio demographic characteristics like years suffered (p = 0.034), and between attitude and years suffered (p = 0.035). There was a significant relationship between blood sugar levels and nutritional status (p = 0.014) and also nutritional knowledge and physical activity (p = 0.036). Additionally there was no significant relationship between blood sugar level and nutrition education and also with the number of meals (p= 0.263). The main conclusion that emerges from this study is that the assumption that greater amount of correct knowledge about nutrition knowledge should be associated with good practices and more favorite attitudes was supported in relation to attitude but not with meal pattern. Therefore, greater attention should be given in ensuring that people with diabetes are enlightened on various issues of diabetes besides nutrition as this has an impact on attitude and healthy practices the indulge in.