Home Education Study highlights areas where more education is needed for people with diabetes

Study highlights areas where more education is needed for people with diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes (T2D), a chronic disease that affects hundreds of millions of people around the world, often occurs because the body cannot produce enough insulin or use insulin effectively . Disease management is critical to avoid long-term negative consequences such as limb amputation and heart disease. To counter the negative effects, it is important that patients have sufficient knowledge about the daily management of the disease.

The Portuguese research team has now assessed how many patients, both on and off insulin treatment, have this important knowledge about T2D. They presented their findings as follows: Frontiers of public health.

“Our main motivation was to contribute to narrowing the existing gaps in the knowledge that people with diabetes have about their disease,” said first author Pedro López Ferreira, director of the Center for Health Research and Research at the University of Coimbra. the professor said. “This study proves the need to improve disease knowledge for people with type 2 diabetes.”

knowledge levels vary widely

To assess diabetes knowledge, the researchers used a knowledge test developed for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The test includes sections on nutrition, signs and symptoms, and medication management, among other questions. The study involved 1,200 people with diabetes, about 40% of whom were on insulin treatment. The remaining sample adhered to a specific diet, with some additionally taking non-insulin oral antidiabetic drugs, while others relied solely on diet.

The results showed that a large number of participants (71.3%) were able to correctly answer questions about food, and more than four out of five respondents demonstrated sufficient knowledge about the positive effects of physical activity. Ta. More than 75% of respondents also knew about the best way to test blood sugar levels.

However, researchers found significant gaps in knowledge in other areas. For example, when asked which foods should not be used to treat low blood sugar levels, only 12.8% of participants answered correctly. The lowest rate of correct answers (4.4%) was for questions about symptoms of ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening end-stage T2D complication.

One of the main reasons for this knowledge gap is probably the behavior of healthcare professionals and their priority areas when communicating information to patients. ”


Pedro López Ferreira, Director of the Center for Health Research, University of Coimbra

provide knowledge to patients

Researchers found that drug use was one of the factors influencing T2D knowledge. The correct response rate was 51.8% for patients not treated with insulin and 58.7% for patients using insulin. Looking at socio-economic and demographic factors, being under the age of 65, having higher education, not living alone, and following a certain diet have a positive impact on knowledge of the disease. I gave it.

The researchers say the results highlight the need to improve knowledge of certain aspects of the disease in T2D, such as blood glucose monitoring, which can help avoid the spikes in blood sugar levels associated with acute and chronic complications. said. Knowledge gaps within individual sections of the test also need to be urgently addressed, the team noted.

They also said studies with more participants could help better understand the role of socio-economic and clinical determinants of the disease. “We focused on patients’ own knowledge of their disease, rather than disease management based solely on biological indicators.The results we obtained could change the way professionals communicate information to patients. I hope we can,” López Ferreira concluded.

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Reference magazines:

Jerusalem, Ferreira other. (2024) Many people with type 2 diabetes lack potentially life-saving knowledge about their disease. Frontiers of public health. doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2024.1328001.

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