Self-management and its associated factors among people living with diabetes in Blantyre, Malawi: a cross-sectional study
AAS Open Research
Self-management is key to the control of glycaemia and prevention of complications in people living with diabetes. Many people living with diabetes in Malawi have poorly controlled glucose and they experience diabetes-related complications. This study aimed to assess diabetes self-management behaviours and to identify factors associated with it among people living with diabetes at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Blantyre, Malawi. Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 510 adults
... attending a diabetes clinic at a teaching referral hospital in southern Malawi. The social cognitive theory was applied to identify factors associated with following all recommended self-management behaviours. Data on participants' demographics, clinical history, diabetes knowledge, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, social support, environmental barriers and diabetes self-management were collected. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with following all self-management behaviours. Results: The mean age of participants was 53.6 (SD 13.3) years. Self-reported medication adherence within the last seven days was 88.6% (n=494); 77% reported being physically active for at least 30 minutes on more than three days in the previous seven days; 69% reported checking their feet every day and inspecting inside their shoes; 58% reported following a healthy diet regularly. Overall, only 33% reported following all the self-management behaviours regularly. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that self-efficacy was the only social cognitive factor associated with following all the self-management practices (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Participants in our study were not consistently achieving all self-management practices with dietary practices being the least adhered to behaviour by many. To improve self-management practices of people living with diabetes, current health education programs should not only aim at improving diabetes related knowledge but also self-efficacy. Adopting interventions that promote self-efficacy in diabetes patients such as exposure to role models, peer education, providing positive feedback, and counselling is recommended.