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J Family Med Prim Care. 2017 Jul-Sep;6(3):605-609. doi: 10.4103/2249-4863.214430.

How much do persons with diabetes in a rural area of South India know about diabetes management? A step toward person-centered care.

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India.
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India.



The burden of diabetes mellitus is increasing worldwide, more so in developing countries. Optimal diabetes care depends on adherence to management protocol, which can be brought about by shared decision-making. Patient's knowledge on life-threatening complications and preventive strategies for the same is a prerequisite for shared decision-making. Hence, this study was carried out among diabetes patients to assess the level of knowledge on different aspects of diabetes management.


A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted among patients registered and seeking care from a Rural Primary Health Centre in Puducherry, South India. All the individuals with diabetes were included in the study. Trained MBBS interns interviewed the patients after obtaining informed consent. A semi-structured interview schedule was used to capture information on sociodemographic profile, disease characteristics, knowledge on different aspects of diabetes management, and prevention of diabetic complications. Data were entered and analyzed using EpiData software. Knowledge on each item was expressed as percentages.


Of the total 172 participants, 58% were females, 63% were aged between 31 and 60 years. About half of the participants had diabetes for more than 5 years. Of the total, about 83% knew that there is a need for lifelong treatment. About 51%, 44%, 21%, and 9% were aware that diabetes can cause complications to eye, renal, foot, and heart, respectively. Of the total, about 74%, 78%, 17%, 15%, 35%, and 56% knew the correct frequency for monitoring of blood sugars, blood pressure, renal function, lipid profile, fundus, and foot, respectively.


This study shows that knowledge on few components of diabetes management is still limited, and there is a need to impart knowledge through health education to patients. Adequate knowledge on diabetes management principles is important for implementing patient-centered care in primary care setting.


Diabetes complications; diabetes mellitus; knowledge; patient-centered care; primary care

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