Information related to knowledge, attitudes, and practices of people with diabetes is especially important in resource-limited settings such as Zimbabwe, where medications to treat diabetes are costly and capacity to treat complications is limited, making observance of appropriate self-care practices that may delay or prevent complications vital to patient and public health. As a start to understanding the level of knowledge of diabetes eye complications, attitudes towards self-care practices, and utilization of available health care resources among diabetes patients, we conducted face-to-face interviews with 189 diabetes patients (133 female, 56 male, mean age 62.7 years) attending a referral hospital in Zimbabwe’s second largest city. A structured questionnaire was administered to each patient to document knowledge, attitudes, and practices that had 13, 11, and 12 questions in each section respectively. Knowledge results revealed the total knowledge score of diabetes and associated eye complications is associated with patients' self-report of seeing clearly or not, indicating patients not seeing all the time have a higher score then patients self-reporting they do see clearly all the time, x2=24.5815, df=11, p=0.0105. Attitude results revealed 74% of participants viewed consulting a pharmacist as a very important health care step compared to 96% who viewed consulting a physician as a very important health care step. Results indicating patients with diabetes who see clearly have less knowledge about diabetes and related eye complications suggests that reinforcing self-care steps should be directed towards this group. At the same time, patient attitude results suggest this gap could be filled by emphasizing the role of pharmacists in fostering good diabetes self-care practices and providing education for individuals with diabetes, especially early in the course of disease before vision impairment may occur.
M. Sithole: None. A. Matimba: None. R. Woodward: None.