Original Research

Black female patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: knowledge, attitudes and physical activity

A. J. Van Rooijen, P. Rheeder, C. J. Eales, P. Becker
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 57, No 3 | a509 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v57i3.509 | © 2018 A. J. Van Rooijen, P. Rheeder, C. J. Eales, P. Becker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 August 2018 | Published: 30 August 2001

About the author(s)

A. J. Van Rooijen, Department of Physiotherapy, University of Pretoria, South Africa
P. Rheeder, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, University of Pretoria, South Africa
C. J. Eales, Department of Physiotherapy, Wits Medical School, South Africa
P. Becker, Medical Research Council, South Africa

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The aim of this study was to obtain baseline data from female Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2 DM) patients on their general health status, demographics, their knowledge of and attitudes towards diabetes and exercise, as well as their present physical activity levels.
The sample of convenience consisted of 93 patients between the ages of 36 and 70 years, who were attending the Mamelodi Hospital Diabetic Outpatient Clinic.
Demographic, clinical, diabetes knowledge, diabetes attitude and physical activity data were captured. Data were summarized with descriptive statistics. Pearson product-moment correlation was employed to assess relationships and Cronbach’s alpha measured reliability.
It was found that the sample had a low educational level. (84% schooling up to St 7) Several risk factors for the control of diabetes were identified in the sample. (Class I obesity, HbAI c-levels acceptable to compromised, 75% on treatment for hypertension) They had low scores on knowledge of diabetes ( mean,SD =4.72,2.05 out of 15) and low levels of physical activity. (mean, SD—2.85,2.09) Patients agreed with the attitude in the scale that the health care professionals require skills to educate and counsel diabetic patients, as well as bring about behavioral changes in the patients.( r=0.62) They also agreed that diabetes has a substantial psychosocial impact on their lives. (r=0.41) The highest correlation between to sub-scales was between the need for special training of health care professionals who care for diabetic patients and the psychosocial impact of the disease. (r=0.41) Patients should be educated about the basic physiology of diabetes, insulin action and causes of hypoglycaemia. They should also be motivated to increase physical activity on a continuous basis.
Culturally sensitive research is needed to identify health beliefs, motivation for the control of diabetes and environmental and personal barriers to exercise and physical activity in this population.


type 2 diabetes mellitus; knowledge; attitude; physical activity; exercise


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