Objective: To assess the needs, awareness and barriers to diabetes education for self management and to facilitate the initiation of an education programme promoting self care among diabetics and their families.
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted among adult diabetics attending outpatient clinics in a tertiary care teaching hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on 27 subjects (11 men; 16 women) to identify dominant themes and priority issues.
Results: Participants displayed great deal of variation with respect to level of knowledge and motivation for education. Most believed that diabetes was caused by stress. Family was perceived to be a source of positive support. Relative ease of adherence to pharmacological regimens as compared to diet and exercise was reported. Participants expressed frustration at chronicity of disease and fear of developing certain specific complications and inheritance by their children. Barriers to enhancing knowledge included 'No need for further information', distance from training institutions and other priorities.
Conclusion: Knowledge, beliefs and fears about diabetes, family influence and accessibility of healthcare, affects management behaviours and learning. Understanding needs and expectations of people with diabetes is essential in initiating and improving the outcomes of education programme for diabetes self care.