Patients’ knowledge of diabetes foot complications and self-management practices in Ghana: a phenomenological study

Irene Fosuhemaa Bossman*, Shadrach Dare, Bright Anyimah Oduro, Prince Kyei Baffour, Thomas Kwadwo Hinneh, Jane Elizabeth Nally

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
The prevalence of diabetes is increasing in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and over two-thirds of these are not diagnosed. Consequently, diabetes complications usually exist at the time of diagnosis. Foot ulcers is a leading cause of disability and mortality among diabetes patients.

Purpose
To assess the knowledge and experiences of adult patients with Diabetes on diabetes complications and self-management practices with emphasis on foot care.

Methodology
This applied phenomenological study design. Twenty patients attending Diabetes clinics were purposively sampled from two hospitals in Ghana. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted to evaluate patient’s understanding of diabetes and self-management practices. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and analysed to generate themes using the constant comparison method.

Results
Three-quarters of the participants in the study correctly defined diabetes as high blood glucose levels, but few knew the risk factors and complications of diabetes. Stroke and Hypertension were the most popular complications known, whiles diabetes foot complications were the least known. Almost all participants showed awareness of dietary self-management practices, but few had limited knowledge in foot care practices.

Conclusion
Diabetes education in LMICs should promote self-management practices, especially foot care and clear dietary guidelines. There is also opportunity to invest in specialist diabetes training for healthcare providers and increase community-based care for people living with diabetes in Ghana.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0256417
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2021

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