Physical activity and associated factors among type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients (Aged ≥20 Years) Attending Care at Kiruddu Hospital
Muyinda, Mathew Rogers
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Introduction: Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an illness of epidemic proportions affecting about 425 million adults worldwide, and 1.5% adults in Uganda. Physical inactivity is a risk factor of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) which itself is a global pandemic and causing 7% of all T2DM cases. Although the benefits of physical activity (PA) have been unequivocally established, diabetics are one of the least active populations. Data regarding patients’ PA and associated factors is essential in developing interventions to increase their activity levels. Such data is, however, scanty in Uganda and, thus, the current study was an attempt to address the data gap. The objective of the study was to establish the level of PA and the factors associated with PA among T2DM patients under care. Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on a sample of 103 T2DM patients (aged ≥20 years) attending care at the diabetes outpatient clinic of Kiruddu hospital. Respondents’ data were obtained using a structured questionnaire and PA was assessed using the GPAQ. Data analysis was done using IBM SPSS 25.0. A p-value of <0.05 was used as a criterion for statistical significance. Results: Majority (76.7%) of participants did not meet current PA recommendations, 94.1% were overweight and obese, and 68.9% had waist circumferences above normal. Eighty per cent (80.6%) of patients were educated on PA, mostly by medical personnel (67.8%). Most (64.1%) patients had fair while 29.1% had poor knowledge regarding PA. Majority (93.2%) of patients had positive attitudes towards PA. Most reported motivator to engage in PA was “to become healthier” (19.5%) while the most reported barrier was “lack of enough time” (13.9%). Identified risk factors of physical inactivity among T2DM patients included living in urban areas, secondary education, low socioeconomic status and being self-employed (p<0.001). Conclusions: Collectively, the findings of this study highlight high physical inactivity levels among T2DM patients and the need for healthcare approaches and interventions that aim to improve their activity levels, knowledge and attitudes which may assist in preventing and managing T2DM in Uganda.