Original Research

Salient beliefs about modifiable risk behaviours among patients living with diabetes, hypertension or both: A qualitative formative study

Prosper Lutala, Peter Nyasulu, Adamson Muula
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 14, No 1 | a3327 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v14i1.3327 | © 2022 Prosper Lutala, Peter Nyasulu, Adamson Muula | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 November 2021 | Published: 09 September 2022

About the author(s)

Prosper Lutala, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Oral Health, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Blantyre; and NCD-BRITE Consortium, Faculty of Public and Global Health, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Blantyre, Malawi
Peter Nyasulu, Department of Global Health, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town; and Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Adamson Muula, NCD-BRITE Consortium, Faculty of Public and Global Health, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Blantyre; Department of Public Health, Faculty of Public and Global Health, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Blantyre; and African Center for Public Health and Herbal Medicine (ACEPHEM), Faculty of Public and Global Health, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Blantyre, Malawi


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Abstract

Background: Although there is evidence of the key role played by focusing on local knowledge in designing appropriate interventions regarding modifiable risk behaviours among patients living with diabetes and hypertension in Mangochi (and Malawi), little is known about local salient beliefs.

Aim: With a focus on the theory of planned behaviour as a theoretical lens, this study aimed to identify salient beliefs about modifiable risk behaviours among patients with diabetes, hypertension or both in Mangochi, south-eastern Malawi. Specifically, the objectives were to identify advantages and disadvantages (behavioural salient beliefs), people who approve or disapprove (normative salient beliefs) and enablers and barriers (control salient beliefs) for measures to change modifiable risk behaviours among patients with diabetes, hypertension or both in Mangochi, Malawi.

Setting: A hypertension diabetes clinic at Mangochi District Hospital, south-eastern Malawi.

Methods: A formative qualitative study of a quasi-experimental trial was conducted among 25 patients, purposefully sampled, who were living with diabetes, hypertension or both at Mangochi District Hospital in February 2019. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with patients using an interview guide informed by the theory of planned behaviour’s elicitation interview guide. Thematic content analysis was used to identify emerging themes.

Results: A total of 25 participants were recruited, of which 12 (48%) were living with diabetes. Five thematic areas emerged from this analysis: physical and psychological fitness, social disconnection, perceived support systems, perceived enablers and perceived barriers to change.

Conclusion: Appropriate words for each salient belief were identified. Future researchers should use the identified salient beliefs when designing interventions based on the theory of planned behaviour in diabetes and hypertension.

Contribution: The paper adds to the body of knowledge informing the use of theory of planned behavior in addressing modifiable risk factors among practitioners, specialists and academics in primary care and Family Medicine in the field of noncommunicable diseases in Mangochi Malawi and beyond.


Keywords

diabetes; hypertension; lifestyle; Malawi; Mangochi; modifiable behaviours; noncommunicable diseases; risk; salient belief; theory of planned behaviour.

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