Aim: To explore the knowledge, and health beliefs of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) regarding management of infections of the urinary tract (UTIs) and lower respiratory tract (LRTIs).
Methods: Three semi-structured focus groups with 23 patients with T2DM were conducted and analyzed.
Results: Only a few patients mentioned specific preventive measures for UTIs and LRTIs, like not smoking and taking enough fluids (n = 3). Making a nuisance of oneself, denying the seriousness of the disease and fear of insulin therapy were barriers to health-seeking behaviour. Some people did not complete the course of antibiotics (n = 2) or forgot to take the tablets, especially when tablets had to be taken more than once a day (n = 4).
Conclusion: Our results showed that patients with T2DM lack knowledge and realistic health beliefs about common infections such as UTIs and LATIs. Health education should aim to help patients with T2DM to interpret symptoms of infections correctly in order to take the appropriate action such as taking preventive measures or taking antibiotics. Identifying patients at high risk of a complicated infection may target education towards those who need it most. (C) 2010 Primary Care Diabetes Europe. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.