A descriptive study of knowledge and attitude of diabetes mellitus and its management in rural population

Yashaswini L S


Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease, requiring long term medications and frequent monitoring of blood sugars. Education is one of the key components in ensuring better treatment and control of diabetes. Good glycaemic control with frequent monitoring of blood glucose, healthy diet, and adequate physical activity can go a long way in prolonging longevity of patients with DM and also in preventing morbidity.
Objective: This study was taken up to assess the knowledge and attitude of people in Rural India towards DM.
Materials and Methods: This being a hospital based descriptive cross sectional study, 550 Diabetics were evaluated by detailed questionnaire.
Results: The mean age observed was 49.68.6 years, 73% of patients were illiterates. Majority of patients were farmers who indulged in heavy work (55%). (11%) was aware about diabetic diet while only 5%actually followed it. Majority (86.2%) were adherent to medications, while only 15.3% were actually
aware regarding consequences and complications of missing medications dosage. None of patients were having facilities for home monitoring of glucose and only 9% got their sugars checked regularly. Only, 62.5% of patients used footwear regularly. Only 21.6% patients were aware regarding importance of foot examination, while only 7.4% performed it regularly.75% did not come to hospital for regular glycemic monitoring as there was no one to accompany them.
Conclusions: Spreading knowledge regarding diabetes and its management in the form strict adherence to prescribed medications, diabetic diet, and regular physical activity will motivate individuals with diabetes to visit hospitals regularly. This is an important step in preventing diabetes-related complications. Awareness methodology specific for rural populations needs to be adopted.

Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Foot care, Glycemic control, Diabetic diet, Physical activity.

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