Original Research

Diabetic patients’ perspectives on the challenges of glycaemic control

Oladele V. Adeniyi, Parimalane Yogeswaran, Graham Wright, Benjamin Longo-Mbenza
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 7, No 1 | a767 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.767 | © 2015 Oladele V. Adeniyi, Parimalane Yogeswaran, Graham Wright, Benjamin Longo-Mbenza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 August 2014 | Published: 30 July 2015

About the author(s)

Oladele V. Adeniyi, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa
Parimalane Yogeswaran, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa
Graham Wright, Centre for Health Informatics Research and Development (CHIRAD), University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Benjamin Longo-Mbenza, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa


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Abstract

Introduction: The factors affecting the control of diabetes are complex and varied. However, little is documented in the literature on the overall knowledge of diabetic patients about glycaemic control. This study explored the patients’ perspectives on the challenges of glycaemic control.

Methods: In this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seventeen purposively selected diabetic patients with HBA1c ≥ 9% at Mthatha General Hospital, South Africa. The interviews were conducted in the isiXhosa language and were audiotaped. Two experienced qualitative researchers independently transcribed and translated the interviews.Thematic content analysis was conducted.

Results: Three main themes emerged: overall knowledge of diabetes and treatment targets, factors affecting the control of diabetes and how glycaemic control could be improved.The majority of the participants demonstrated poor knowledge of treatment targets for diabetes. The majority of the participants reported that lack of money affected their control of diabetes. Some of the participants reported that the nearest clinics do not have doctors; hence,they are compelled to travel long distances to see doctors.

Conclusion: Poverty, lack of knowledge and access to doctors affect the control of diabetes in the rural communities of Mthatha, South Africa. The government should address recruitment and retention of doctors in primary health care.


Keywords

diabetes mellitus; glycaemic control; patient education; rural community; South Africa

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