Original Research

Quality of care of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus at a public sector district hospital

Kelly J. Fredericks, Mergan Naidoo
South African Family Practice | Vol 65, No 1 : Part 3| a5713 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v65i1.5713 | © 2023 Kelly J. Fredericks, Mergan Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 January 2023 | Published: 06 June 2023

About the author(s)

Kelly J. Fredericks, Department of Family Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Mergan Naidoo, Department of Family Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: Globally, diabetes mellitus (DM) remains one of the leading causes of mortality, with approximately 2 million deaths in 2019, the condition also contributes significantly to adverse health conditions and costs. The study aimed to describe the quality of care (QOC) rendered to patients with type 2 DM (T2DM) seeking care at Wentworth Hospital (WWH), a district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional design was used, and all patients living with T2DM on treatment who had accessed care for at least 1 year were included. Data were collected through structured exit interviews, and their clinical data were extracted from their medical records. Their knowledge, attitudes and practices were assessed using a 5-point Likert scale.

Results: The mean age (standard deviation [s.d.]) was 59 (13.0) years and most (65.3%) were female, of African (30.0%) and Indian (38.6%) descent, with two-thirds (69.4%) obtaining a secondary school education. Their mean glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (s.d.) was 8.6 (2.4%). Over 82% had one or more comorbidity, while 30% had at least one DM-related complication. Generally, participants were pleased with the care received, but their knowledge and practices related to their T2DM was suboptimal.

Conclusion: This study indicates that the QOC was suboptimal due to poor efficacy indicators, poor knowledge and lack of adequate lifestyle measures, despite the frequency of medical practitioner reviews.

Contributions: This study identified gaps in QOC and will aid South African public sector policy-makers in devising quality improvement initiatives.


type 2 diabetes mellitus; quality of care; public sector; district hospital; South Africa


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