Self-Management of Diabetes and Associated Factors among Patients Seeking Chronic Care in Tshwane, South Africa: A Facility-Based Study

Janke Zwane, Perpetua Modjadji*, Sphiwe Madiba, Lucky Moropeng, Kabelo Mokgalaboni, Peter Modupi Mphekgwana, Andre Pascal Kengne, Zandile June Rose Mchiza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The burden of diabetes continues to increase in South Africa and a significant number of diabetes patients present at public primary healthcare facilities with uncontrolled glucose. We conducted a facility-based cross-sectional study to determine the diabetes self-management practices and associated factors among out-patients in Tshwane, South Africa. An adapted validated questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemography, diabetes knowledge, and summaries of diabetes self-management activities measured in the previous seven days, and over the last eight weeks. Data were analysed using STATA 17. A final sample of 402 diabetes out-patients was obtained (mean age: 43 ± 12 years) and over half of them were living in poor households. The mean total diabetes self-management of score was 41.5 ± 8.2, with a range of 21 to 71. Almost two thirds of patients had average self-management of diabetes, and 55% had average diabetes knowledge. Twenty-two percent of patients had uncontrolled glucose, hypertension (24%) was the common comorbidity, and diabetic neuropathy (22%) was the most common complication. Sex [male: AOR = 0.55, 95% CI: 0.34–0.90], race [Coloured: AOR = 2.84, 95% CI: 1.69–4.77 and White: AOR = 3.84, 95% CI: 1.46–10.1], marital status [divorced: AOR = 3.41, 95% CI: 1.13–10.29], social support [average: AOR = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.05–6.00 and good: AOR = 4.49, 95% CI: 1.61–7.57], body mass index [obesity: AOR = 0.31, 95% CI: 0.10–0.95], diabetes knowledge [average: AOR = 0.58, 95% CI: 0.33–0.10 and good: AOR = 1.86, 95% CI: 0.71–4.91], and uncontrolled glucose [AOR = 2.97, 95% CI: 1.47–5.98] were factors independently predictive of diabetes self-management. This study emphasizes that the self-management of diabetes was mostly on average among patients and was associated with the aforementioned factors. Innovative approaches are perhaps needed to make diabetes education more effective. Face-to-face sessions delivered generally during clinic visits should be better tailored to the individual circumstances of diabetes patients. Considerations should be given to the options of leveraging information technology to ensure the continuity of diabetes education beyond clinic visits. Additional effort is also needed to meet the self-care needs of all patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5887
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • South Africa
  • associated factors
  • diabetes
  • primary health care facilities
  • self-management


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