Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Knowledge and self-care practices regarding diabetes among newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics in Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study

Farzana Saleh1*, Shirin J Mumu2, Ferdous Ara1, Housne A Begum3 and Liaquat Ali4

Author affiliations

1 Department of Community Nutrition, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences (BIHS), Dhaka, Bangladesh

2 Department of Epidemiology, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences (BIHS), Dhaka, Bangladesh

3 Institute of Health Economics, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

4 Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences (BIHS), Dhaka, Bangladesh

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2012, 12:1112  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1112

Published: 26 December 2012



Levels of knowledge about diabetes mellitus (DM) among newly diagnosed diabetics in Bangladesh are unknown. This study assessed the relationship between knowledge and practices among newly diagnosed type 2 DM patients.


Newly diagnosed adults with type 2 diabetes (N = 508) were selected from 19 healthcare centers. Patients’ knowledge and self-care practices were assessed via interviewer-administered questionnaires using a cross-sectional design. Knowledge questions were divided into basic and technical sections. Knowledge scores were categorized as poor (<mean – 1 SD), average (mean ± 1 SD), good (>mean + 1 SD). Chi square testing and multivariate logistic regression were conducted to examine the relationship between diabetes-related knowledge and self-care practices.


Approximately 16%, 66%, and 18% of respondents had good, average, and poor (GAP) basic knowledge respectively and 10%, 78%, and 12% of respondents had GAP technical knowledge, about DM. About 90% of respondents from both basic and technical GAP did not test their blood glucose regularly; a significant relationship existed between basic knowledge and glucose monitoring. Technical knowledge and foot care were significantly related, though 81% with good technical knowledge and about 70% from average and poor groups did not take care of their feet. Approximately 85%, 71%, and 52% of the GAP technical knowledge groups, consumed betel nuts; a significant relationship existed between technical knowledge and consumption of betel nuts. Around 88%, 92%, and 98% of GAP technical knowledge groups failed to follow dietary advice from a diabetes educator. About 26%, 42%, and 51% of GAP basic and technical sometimes ate meals at a fixed time (p < 0.05). Approximately one-third of respondents in each basic knowledge group and 29%, 32%, and 32% of GAP technical knowledge groups partially followed rules for measuring food before eating. Total basic knowledge (TBK) and business profession were significant independent predictors of good practice. OR for TBK: 1.28 (95% CI: 1.03 to 1.60); OR for business profession 9.05 (95% CI: 1.17 to 70.09).


Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics had similar levels of basic and technical knowledge of DM. Health education and motivation should create positive changes in diabetes-control-related self-care practices.

Bangladesh; Type 2 diabetes; Knowledge; Self-care; Practice; Diabetes