Objectives: To assess knowledge, attitude and practice in relation to their disease among patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus in one regional health district in Trinidad and Tobago and to compare these attributes between patients receiving/not receiving nutrition counselling.
Methods: A cohort of 122 patients with diabetes was selected on site at their respective public clinics via quota sampling and surveyed using a structured questionnaire.
Results: Mean knowledge score was 5.4 (SD = 0.985). Mean attitude and practice scores were significant between those who received and did not receive counselling (p = 0.033 and < 0.001, respectively). Patients receiving nutrition counselling were more likely than those not receiving counselling to not drink soft drinks (p < 0.001), consume fast foods (p < 0.001) and drink alcohol (p = 0.003) but were equally likely to drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Additionally, patients receiving and those not receiving counselling were equally likely to agree with the attitude statements given. There was a statistically significant interaction between the effects of gender and age group on knowledge score, F = 2.631, p = 0.039. Nutrition counselling was a statistically significant predictor of knowledge score (B = 0.444, standard error = 0.192, p = 0.023).
Conclusions: Patients receiving nutrition counselling were more knowledgeable about diabetes than those not receiving such counselling, and had a more positive outlook as to what it would take on the part of the patient and clinicians to manage the disease effectively.