Medication knowledge and self-management by people with type 2 diabetes

Trisha Dunning, Elizabeth Manias

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore medication knowledge and self-management practices of people with type 2 diabetes. Design: A one-shot cross sectional study using in-depth interviews and participant observation. Setting: Diabetes outpatient education centre of a university teaching hospital. Subjects: People with type 2 diabetes, n=30, 17 males and 13 females, age range 33-84, from a range of ethnic groups. Outcome measures: Ability to state name, main actions and when to take medicines. Performance of specific medication-related tasks; opening bottles and packs, breaking tablets in half, administering insulin, and testing blood glucose. Results: Average medication use ≥10years. Respondents were taking 86 different medicines, mean 7±2.97 SD. Dose frequency included two, three and four times per day. All respondents had ≥2 diabetic complications ± other comorbidities. The majority (93%) were informed about how and when to take their medicines, but only 37% were given information about side effects and 17% were given all possible seven items of information. Younger respondents received more information than older respondents. Older respondents had difficulty opening bottles and breaking tablets in half. Twenty percent regularly forgot to take their medicines. Increasing medication costs was one reason for stopping medicines or reducing the dose or dose interval. The majority tested their blood glucose but did not control test their meters and 33% placed used sharps directly into the rubbish. Conclusion: Polypharmacy was common. Medication knowledge and self-management were inadequate and could lead to adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Knowledge
  • Medication
  • Self-care
  • Type 2 diabetes

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