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HL Wee, HK Ho, SC Li
Correspondence: Dr S C Li, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Much effort has been devoted to educating the public about diabetes. However, the impact of such efforts has yet to be formally evaluated.
Objectives To identify areas of knowledge that might require additional educational efforts.
Methodology A cross-sectional survey was conducted to evaluate the general public's knowledge of diabetes. The respondents were required to answer 45 questions from a pre-tested questionnaire divided into five main sections, namely, general knowledge, risk factors, symptoms and complications, treatment and management, monitoring and other miscellaneous questions. A point was awarded for each correct response and zero for wrong or unsure responses. The maximum total score was 41. The miscellaneous questions were not scored.
Results A total of 1337 subjects were interviewed. The mean score obtained by the respondents was 66.1% of the maximum possible total score (i.e. 27.1 points out of 41). The "correct answer" percentages for the individual questions from each section ranges from 22 to 83% (General knowledge), 31 to 91% (Risk factors), 48 to 81% (Symptoms and complications), 35 to 87% (Treatment and management), and 58 to 93% (Monitoring of condition).With respect to the source of medical information, health care professionals did not feature prominently (20.7%).
Conclusion The public as represented by the samples in this survey is generally well informed about diabetes except for a few areas. Analysis of these areas would have a significant implication for future public education programme. Health care professionals should be more proactive in disseminating health information about diabetes to the public.
Keywords: diabetes mellitus, knowledge, public sector, health promotion, survey
Singapore Med J 2002; 43(3): 128-134