Knowledge and perceptions of diabetes in a semi-urban Omani populationReport as inadecuate

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BMC Public Health

, 8:249

First Online: 22 July 2008Received: 18 December 2007Accepted: 22 July 2008DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-8-249

Cite this article as: Al Shafaee, M.A., Al-Shukaili, S., Rizvi, S.G.A. et al. BMC Public Health 2008 8: 249. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-8-249


BackgroundDiabetes mellitus is a major public health problem in the Sultanate of Oman. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and perception of diabetes in a sample of the Omani general population, and the associations between the elements of knowledge and perception, and socio-demographic factors.

MethodsThe study was carried out in two semi-urban localities. A total of 563 adult residents were interviewed, using a questionnaire specifically designed for the present study. In addition to demographic information, the questionnaire contained questions on knowledge related to diabetes definition, symptoms, risk factors, complications and preventative measures, as well as risk perception for diabetes.

ResultsKnowledge of diabetes was suboptimal. The percentages of correct responses to questions on diabetes definition, classical symptoms, and complications were 46.5%, 57.0%, and 55.1%, respectively. Only 29.5%, 20.8% and 16.9% identified obesity, physical inactivity and a positive family history, respectively, as risk factors for diabetes. A higher level of education, a higher household income, and the presence of a family history of diabetes were found to be positively associated with more knowledge.

ConclusionThis study demonstrated that there is lack of awareness of major risk factors for diabetes mellitus. Level of education is the most significant predictor of knowledge regarding risk factors, complications and the prevention of diabetes. Given that the prevalence of diabetes has increased drastically in Oman over the last decade, health promotion seems essential, along with other means to prevent and control this emerging health problem.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-8-249 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Mohammed A Al Shafaee - Sulaiman Al-Shukaili - Syed Gauher A Rizvi - Yahya Al Farsi - Mushtaq A Khan - Shyam S Ganguly



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