Baseline Assessment of Knowledge of Home Based Carers for People with Diabetes in a Rural Village in South Africa: A Quantitative Study

Mamare Bopape1, *, Tebogo Mothiba1, Miriam Mutambudzi2, Johan Wens2, Hilde Bastiaens2
1 School of Health Care Sciences, Department of Nursing Science, University of Limpopo, South Africa
2 Department of Primary and Interdisciplinary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences University of Antwerp; Belgium

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© 2019 Bopape et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Nursing Science, University of Limpopo, Private Bag X1106 Sovenga 0727, South Africa; Tel: 015-268-2387; Fax: 015-267-3080 E-mail:



In South Africa, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a significant health problem causing disability and premature death. Home Based Carers (HBCs) who care for T2DM patients in a rural village in South Africa lack formal training, which may result in knowledge deficits on the provision of care.


To describe knowledge of HBCs who care for T2DM patients in a rural village in South Africa.


A self-administered questionnaire with closed-ended questions was used. The questionnaire included seven questions to assess biographic characteristics, 13 self-test statements to assess actual common practices and 29 statements to test diabetes knowledge. Data were captured and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 24.


More than 60% of the HBCs' had between 5 and 10 years of experience with a mean of 9 years. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of HBCs had some kind of secondary education but 89% never attended an in-service training on T2DM. Only 27% of HBCs agreed with the statement they could instruct people with diabetes on daily personal care and 11% agreed they could identify the normal ranges of blood glucose. Where 57% of the respondents agreed with the statement they could not perform one method of blood glucose control, 1 out of 3 (32%) agreed with the statement they could not instruct people with diabetes on self-care management for a sick day. The results revealed that there was no significant relationship (rho= .055, N = 53, p = 0.69) between HBCs years of experience and knowledge scores.


The study showed that HBCs who care for people with diabetes lack knowledge with regard to diabetes mellitus. Therefore, people with diabetes in a rural village in South Africa are not managed well and there is a need for training of HBCs on T2DM.

Keywords: Knowledge, Practices, Diabetes mellitus, Home based carers, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Non-communicable diseases.