Title : Knowledge, attitude and practices [KAP] of healthcare workers in the free state, South Africa regarding type 2 diabetes mellitus
Introduction: Public sector health care workers (HCWs), consisting of nurse managers (NMs), professional nurses (PNs) and community health care workers (CHCWs) are employed at the Primary Health Clinics (PHC) and Community Health Clinics (CHC) in South Africa (SA). The quality of care and the implementation strategies used by these health care workers (HCWs) in diabetes care is imperative. The implementation strategies used are determined by the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of the HCW’s which have an impact on quality of care for adult diabetes patients.
Aim: This study aims to assess diabetes related [KAP] of HCWs working with adult patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in the public health sector in the Free State, SA.
Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional quantitative design was used. The population consisted of HCWs providing care to T2DM patients in the 5 districts working in 10 CHC’s and 42 PHC’s in the Manguang district in the Free State. Convenient selection of the three categories of HCWs was performed. Two slightly different versions of a KAP questionnaire were used, one for NMs (N=6) and PNs (N=54), and the other for CHCWs (N=46).
Results: NM median for knowledge questions answered correctly was 26 and PN median 23 (from possible maximum score of 36). CHCWs median for knowledge questions answered correctly was 14 (from a possible maximum score of 22). NM, PN and CHCWs displayed varied attitudes towards patients with T2DM. NM median for practice questions answered correctly was 11.5 and PN median 12 (from possible maximum score of 16). CHCWs median for practice questions answered correctly was 16 (from a possible maximum score of 38).
Conclusion: Knowledge, attitude and practice of the identified HCWs towards patients diagnosed with T2DM need to be addressed. An interactive training platform has been created to address these issues.
Audience Take Away:
- Information obtained can be transferred to other health care workers and patients regarding lifestyle and diabetes.
- The audience will learn that constant updating of knowledge of health care workers regarding Diabetes Mellitus should be done in order to ensure that quality care is rendered.
- If the audience is managers, it can assist them to understand the importance of KAP for health care workers working with patients with T2DM. They do not only need to be knowledgeable, but must be able to apply the knowledge in practice. Managers often assume that if staff is trained, they will implement the knowledge which is not always the case and staff should be monitored on a continuous basis.
- This research can assist other faculties to determine what the KAP of HCW in their area is which will be an indication of the quality of service rendered. Although the attitude of HCW was positive in this research, negative attitudes amongst HCW can impact negatively on the service even if the HCW is knowledgeable about T2DM.
- T2DM is a public health problem globally and the treatment of patients with T2DM is very important to prevent complications which impacts on the health budget. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that HCW are knowledgeable, have positive attitudes and good practices when working with T2DM patients.