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Aim: The purpose of this study was to identify the psychosocial problems of diabetic patients and to find out, from both nurses and patients, how nurses render psychosocial care to these patients.
Methods: A purposive sampling strategy whereby all nurses and patients who met the inclusion criteria were recruited for the study. Questionnaires were administered to both nurses and diabetic patients in the medical, surgical and diabetic units in the study hospitals. Data were analysed using SPSS version 21.
Results: 52 nurses and 90 patients participated in this study. The major psychosocial problems of diabetic patients included financial worries (86.7%), fear of developing a complication (66.7%), and diet regulatory difficulties (57.8%). Both nurses (63.5%) and patients (63.5%) agreed that nurses always educate patients about their disease condition. However, while nurses reported always assessing presence of support from family members of patients (44.2%) and empowering patients’ family to support patients through counselling sessions (57.8%), most patients (76.7%) reported that this was never the case. Moreover, although many nurses (38.5%) reported that they always assessed patients’ financial ability to pay hospital bills and other treatment needs, more than half of the patients (53.3%) said this was never done.
Conclusion: Diabetic patients in these care centres do have psychosocial problems, which needs to be addressed by nurses. Both nurses and patients’ reports generally suggests a minimal provision of psychosocial care to diabetic patients by nurses. Nurses often asses patients to identify these problems, but do not adequately address them. Thus, there is need for improvement in nurses’ provision of psychosocial care for diabetics in the study centre.
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