Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 1025-9848
WRIGHT, Susanna C.D.; JANSEN VAN RENSBURG, Jacoba J.M. and MAREE, Johanna E.. Perception of seriousness and preventive health actions of patients with type 2 diabetes. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2009, vol.14, n.1, pp. 88-95. ISSN 1025-9848.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common chronic health conditions in the world. Though type 2 diabetes is a very serious condition, it is the complications that go with it that cause major morbidity and mortality. It is possible for a person with type 2 diabetes to lead a normal, happy life with the adequate treatment and motivation. The treatment involves increased physical activity, reducing weight if overweight, following a healthy diet and oral drugs or insulin injections. Patients deliver 95% of their care. According to the Health Promotion Model a nurse can support patients by focussing on the benefits of the treatment, teaching them to overcome management barriers and by giving positive feedback. The purpose of this study was to determine whether type 2 diabetes patients who were educated and counselled at a Centre for Diabetes in Limpopo Province, South Africa, perceive their condition as serious and change their lifestyle to prevent complications. The design was an exploratory, contextual, quantitative survey. A convenient sample (n=40) was chosen from patients attending the Centre for Diabetes. The data method was self-report using a pre-testing questionnaire and descriptive statistics to analyse the data. The results of the study indicate that though the majority of the groups' physical measurements were above normal (obesity 85%, hypertension 35%, HbA1c 65% and waist circumference 70%), they perceived the diabetes diagnosis as not serious (87.5%) and well controlled (87.5%). Solutions for educating individuals to change their lifestyles to prevent complications when they are feeling well have not yet been found.
Keywords : type 2 diabetes; perceptions; seriousness; change of lifestyle; Health Promotion Model.