AB74         THE PERCEPTIONS OF DIABETIC PATIENTS ABOUT THE MANAGEMENT OF THEIR ILLNESS

Author(s): 
Malete NH, Ogunbanjo GA
Department of Family Medicine & Primary Health Care, MEDUNSA, SOUTH AFRICA
Text: 
The onset of diabetes often provokes a psychological crisis. This crisis may appear in direct connection to the onset, but in chronic disease, it is even more common that crisis reactions appear some time later. Aim: To understand the perceptions of diabetic patients about the management of their illness.
Objectives:
To improve the management of the patient with diabetes mellitus and to increase their awareness, and encourage them towards self-care. Study design: This was a descriptive qualitative study using the free-attitude interview (one-to-one) technique. Sample: A sample size of 10 diabetic patients (5 males and 5 females) attending the Bethesda Family Practice, Ga-Rankuwa was selected purposefully. Both insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent diabetic patients were proportionately represented.
Results: Some of the main themes that emerged from the data are as follows: The majority of the patients had poor knowledge of their condition and what health care providers expected of them. The family did not feature as a support system in their management. The use of medications was viewed as the only source of controlling their illness. The male participants requested the formation of a support group so that issues concerning their management could be discussed among themselves.
Conclusion:
Lessons learnt from this study show that the information provided to the patients was inadequate to assist them manage their illness and that health care providers need to be re-educated on the management of diabetic patients. The involvement of the family as a support system is vital to the success of the management of these patients.