BACKGROUND: With the increased life expectancy, there is rise in geriatric diabetic population.
A knowledgeable diabetic in collaboration with physician can contribute to a successful diabetes
management plan. Current study was conducted to determine the diabetes knowledge, its
associations and risk factors in elderly type 2 diabetics.
METHODS: This descriptive cross sectional study was conducted at outdoor Medicine Dept.
Rawal Institute of Health Sciences Islamabad over 8 months period from January to August
2015. Geriatric type 2 diabetics (>65 years) were included. Critically ill patients, having physical
or mental limitation to answer the questionnaire were excluded. The demographic details, socioeconomic
class, literacy level, duration of diabetes, other modes of therapy and glycemic
control documented. Michigan Diabetes Knowledge Questionnaire (DKQ-24) was applied with
outcome of diabetes knowledge as good, acceptable and poor. Data analyzed by SPSS version
17 with significant p-value < 0.05.
RESULTS: Among 163 diabetics (21.5% males and 78.5% females), mean age was 64.7+5.6 years
and mean duration of diabetes 8.4+6.6 years. Diabetes knowledge was poor in 86(52.8%), acceptable
in 37(22.7%) and good in 40(24.5%) diabetics. Poor diabetes knowledge was found to
be associated with illiteracy, poverty, unsatisfactory glycemic control, practicing other modes
of therapy and poor dietary control.
CONCLUSION: The unsatisfactory diabetes knowledge in geriatric diabetic population needs to
be addressed. Illiteracy and low socioeconomic class are the contributory factors in addition to
advanced age. Imparting knowledge to geriatric group about diabetes and its complications,
dietary advice supplemented by easy to interpret diet charts and literature may lead to empowerment
of geriatric diabetics for better diabetic control and reduced diabetes related morbidity.
Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetes Knowledge, Glycemic Control