The burden of diabetes mellitus is increasing in low-income and middle-income countries, and it is a major contributor to premature mortality. The care of patients with diabetes mellitus is multidisciplinary and involves a number of healthcare personnel. Effective communication between diabetic patients and healthcare personnel influence self-management and health outcomes.
The study evaluated the diabetic patient's assessment of the communication skills of the healthcare providers, as well as an assessment of the patients' understanding of the health information.
The study is a cross-sectional design using primarily a quantitative methodology. The study population consisted of 101 diabetic patients. A 14-point interviewer administered questionnaire was used to solicit information on socio-demographics, medical history, rating of provider communication, and the evaluation of specific health care workers and information sharing. The data was analysed using SPSS version 17.0 and Microsoft Excel 2007. Descriptive statistical analysis was applied with a 95% confidence level and a precision ± 5%.
The findings revealed that 45.5% of diabetic patients rate the level of communication with regards to health worker sharing information about diabetes mellitus and its management as 'very good' (45.5%) with a the mean score was 2.79 ± 0.86. Descriptive analysis revealed that 52.5% of respondents were generally satisfied with the providers' communication, while 47.5% was not (mean score obtained 9.6 ± 2.77). There was no association between total satisfaction and gender (p = 0.065), neither with age (p = 0.813), education level (p = 0.153) or employment status (p = 0.701).
The findings from this study revealed that the level of communication of information by the healthcare personnel about diabetes mellitus and its management was very good. Just about one-half of the respondents were generally satisfied with the provider's communication. The multidisciplinary approach to care of diabetic patients by healthcare professionals should be structured to promote better communication by maximizing the presentation and exchange of information, and better understanding of diabetes care.