Diabetes Awareness

Of the 463 patients, 434 (94%) were African-American and 29 (6%) were Caucasian. Other races comprised only a small number of patients and were excluded from our analysis. The sample consisted of 307 women (67%).

The general subscale of the Diabetes Knowledge Test was used to assess patients’ understanding of diabetes. The score was calculated as the sum of correct answers on 14 multiple-choice test items. The overall mean score on the general Diabetes Knowledge Test was 5.74 with a standard deviation (SD) of 2.67. Women’s scores (mean 5.93, SD 2.68) were relatively higher than those of the men (mean 5.37, SD 2.38). Scores of Caucasians (mean 6.03, SD 2.15) were higher than those of African-Americans (mean 5.72, SD 2.68).

When asked how many times within the last seven days patients had checked their feet, 89% responded that they had done so at least once during that period. When patients were asked how many times within the last seven days they had followed a healthful eating plan, 77% responded that they had done so at least once. Patients reporting at least one day of foot care in the previous seven days had higher knowledge scores (mean 5.77, SD 2.68) than patients who reported no foot care (5.60, SD 2.68) in the same period.

Multivariate regression models were used to assess the predictors of diabetes knowledge (Table 1). Age, race, smoking, and foot care, which were used as covariates, were associated with diabetes knowledge (significant at alpha 0.05). Interestingly, diabetes knowledge seemed to decrease with increasing age (P < 0.0001) and men had lower scores than women (P < 0.01). Smokers had significantly lower diabetes knowledge scores than their non-smoking counterparts (P < 0.03). The frequency of foot care was significantly associated with higher diabetes knowledge scores (P < 0.02). The variable of race was not significantly associated with diabetes knowledge scores.
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TABLE 1    Multiple Regression: Determinants of Diabetes Knowledge Test In 463 Subjects*

Model

Estimate

P Value
Age

-0.04

0.00011
Male

-0.66

0.0if
African-American

-0.28

0.55
Foot care

0.11

0.02t
Smoking

-0.65

0.03t

Multivariate regression models (Table 2) were used to assess the predictors of foot care, and age, race, smoking, and diabetes knowledge were used as covariates. Race (P < 0.03) and diabetes knowledge (P < 0.02) were significantly associated with foot care activity; men were less likely than women to engage in self-care activity.

TABLE 2 Multiple Regression: Determinants of Foot Care in 463 Subjects*

Model Estimate P Value
Age 0.005 0.53
Male -0.46 0.05j
African-American -0.93 0.03j
Foot care 0.09 0.02j
Smoking -0.05 0.85
* Dependent variable: number of days of foot seven days.j Significant at alpha 0.05. care in the previous

Consistent with the first model, diabetes knowledge was positively related to the frequency of foot care (P < 0.02). African-American patients were 7% less likely than Caucasian patients to engage in frequent foot care activities.