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BMC Public Health. 2011 Oct 4;11:761. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-761.

Factor analysis of self-treatment in diabetes mellitus: a cross-sectional study.

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Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IRAN.



Self-treatment is a treatment of oneself without professional help, which may cause health-related consequences. This investigation examined the self-treatment behaviors in patients with diabetes mellitus in Iran/kashan.


The patients who referred to the clinic of diabetes and those who were admitted to the General hospital in the city of Kashan due to diabetes mellitus were asked to participate in this cross-sectional study. For data collection, The 25 item questionnaire of Likert scale type with four scales was used. Factor analysis was performed to define the patterns of self-treatment.


398 patients participated in the study. The mean age of the study population was 54.9 ± 12.9 years. The majority (97%) had type 2 diabetes. 50% of patients reported self- treatment. The self-treatment score was 45.8 ± 8.8 (25-100). Female gender, lower education and co-morbid illnesses of hypertension, hyperlipidemia and cardiac disease had significant relationship with self-treatment. The factor analysis procedure revealed seven factors that explained the 43% of variation in the self-treatment. These seven factors were categorized as knowledge, deficiencies of formal treatments, available self-treatment methods, physician related factors, the tendency to use herbal remedies, underlying factors such as gender and factors related to diabetes.


There is a medium tendency for self-treatment in diabetic patients. The assessment of self-treatment practices must be an essential part of patients' management in diabetes care.

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