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The influence of beliefs about health and illness on foot care in ugandan persons with diabetic foot ulcers
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden .
Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Uganda.
2013 (English)In: Open Nursing Journal, ISSN 1874-4346, Vol. 7, 123-132 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Diabetes mellitus is developing into a pandemic, mainly affecting Sub-Saharan Africa, and the prevalence of complications is increasing. Diabetic foot disorders are a major source of disability and morbidity. Delay in the health care process due to patients' beliefs might have deleterious consequences for life and limb in persons with diabetic foot ulcers. No previous studies of beliefs about health and illness in persons with diabetic foot ulcers living in Africa have been identified. The aim of the study was to explore beliefs about health and illness among Ugandans with diabetic foot ulcers that might affect health-related behaviour including self-care and care seeking. An explorative study was implemented with consecutive sample and semi-structured interviews were held with 14 Ugandan men and women, aged 40-79, with diabetic foot ulcers. The main findings showed that knowledge was limited about causes, management and prevention of diabetic foot ulcers. Foot ulcers were often detected as painful, believed to heal or improve, and led to stress and social isolationbecause of smell and reduced mobility. Most lacked awareness of the importance of complete daily foot care and seldom practised self-care. Health was described as absence of disease and pain. Many feared future health which was related to contact with nurses in the professional sector from whom they sought information, help with blood tests and wound dressings and desired better organised diabetes clinics providing health education and more opening hours. Many have an underutilised potential for self-care and need education urgently, delivered in well-organised clinics aimed to raise awareness of the threat and prevent foot ulcers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bentham Open , 2013. Vol. 7, 123-132 p.
Keyword [en]
Africans, attitudes to health/illness, beliefs about health/illness, care-seeking behaviour, diabetes mellitus complications, foot ulcer, self-care.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99847DOI: 10.2174/1874434601307010123PubMedID: 24039644OAI: diva2:658384
Available from: 2013-10-21 Created: 2013-10-21 Last updated: 2014-04-15Bibliographically approved

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