BACKGROUND: One of the non-communicable diseases which is on the rise is type 2 diabetes (T2D). T2D is largely preventable with healthy lifestyle. We therefore conducted this study to explore premorbid perception of risk, behavioural practices and the coping strategies of patients with T2D. METHODS: Using descriptive phenomenology approach to qualitative enquiry, we conducted eight focus group discussions (N = 73) with diabetic patients; four among males (N = 36) and four among females (N = 37). In addition, we conducted in-depth interviews with 15 patients, seven caretakers and three physicians. We adopted Colaizzi's descriptive phenomenology approach to analyse the data with the aid of NVivo 11. RESULTS: We found that respondents believed diabetes was a condition for the aged and rich and this served as a premorbid risk attenuator. Majority of them engaged in diabetes-related high risk behaviours such as lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating despite their foreknowledge about the role of lifestyle in diabetes pathogenesis. We also found that patients used moringa, noni, prekese, and garlic concurrently with orthodox medications. Adherence to dietary changes and exercises was a challenge with females reporting better adherence than males. The study also revealed that patients believed biomedical health facilities paid little attention to psychosocial aspects of care despite its essential role in coping with the condition. CONCLUSION: Diabetic patients had low premorbid perception of risk and engaged in diabetes-related risky behaviours. Diabetic patients had challenges adhering to lifestyle changes and use both biomedical and local remedies in the management of the condition. Psychosocial support is necessary to enhance coping with the condition.
Tabong, P. T. N., Bawontuo, V., Dumah, D. N., Kyilleh, J. M., & Yempabe, T. (2018). Premorbid risk perception, lifestyle, adherence and coping strategies of people with diabetes mellitus: A phenomenological study in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. PLoS ONE, 13(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198915