To investigate the self-care practices of Malaysian adults with diabetes and sub-optimal glycaemic control.
Using a one-to-one interviewing approach, data were collected from 126 diabetic adults from four settings. A 75-item questionnaire was used to assess diabetes-related knowledge and self-care practices regarding, diet, medication, physical activity and self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG).
Most subjects had received advice on the importance of self-care in the management of their diabetes and recognised its importance. Sixty-seven subjects (53%) scored below 50% in their diabetes-related knowledge. Subjects who consumed more meals per day (80%), or who did not include their regular sweetened food intakes in their daily meal plan (80%), or who were inactive in daily life (54%), had higher mean fasting blood glucose levels (p=0.04). Subjects with medication non-adherence (46%) also tended to have higher fasting blood glucose levels. Only 15% of the subjects practiced SMBG. Predictors of knowledge deficit and poor self-care were low level of education (p = <0.01), older subjects (p=0.04) and Type 2 diabetes subjects on oral anti-hyperglycaemic medication (p = <0.01).
There were diabetes-related knowledge deficits and inadequate self-care practices among the majority of diabetic patients with sub-optimal glycaemic control.
This study should contribute to the development of effective education strategies to promote health for adults with sub-optimal diabetes control.