Background: India is harbouring the largest number of diabetic patients in the world. Poor knowledge and practices are some of the important factors influencing the development and progression of diabetes and its complications, which are easily preventable. Though self care constitutes 95% of diabetes management it is not given due emphasis.  This study was undertaken to assess the knowledge and self-care practices in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: A cross sectional, hospital based descriptive study was conducted in HIMS Medical college hospital, Hassan. Two hundred type 2 diabetes patients aged ≥ 40 years were interviewed over a period of 2 months from Feb-March 2011. A pre designed and pre tested interview questionnaire was used.

Results: Mean age of diabetic patients was 54.15±10.05 years and mean duration of disease was 6.63±5.54 years. Of the respondents 88% had average to good knowledge regarding self care. Knowledge of ‘self care in type 2 diabetes’ was significantly higher (p< 0.001) in respondents having diabetes for longer duration. Among the respondents, 24% had practice of regular eye check up, 23% took precautions while travelling and 48% practiced foot care. 

Conclusion: Even though knowledge regarding self care in diabetics is high, the same is not practiced..

Key words: Body Mass Index (BMI); Diabetes; Self care  
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