Background: Disability is a key indicator implicating both overall morbidity and success of
public health efforts to compress the period of morbidity among geriatrics for the overall population.
Disabilities are more prevalent among diabetics than among those without diabetes.
Objective: This study aimed to determine self-monitoring practices, awareness to dietary modifications
and barriers to medication adherence among physically disabled type 2 diabetes mellitus patients.
Methods: Interview sessions were conducted at diabetes clinic – Penang general hospital. The invited
participants represented three major ethnic groups of Malaysia (Malay, Chinese & Indians). An openended
approach was used to elicit answers from participants. Interview questions were related to participant’s
perception towards self-monitoring blood glucose practices, Awareness towards diet management,
behaviour to diabetes medication and cues of action.
Results: A total of twenty-one diabetes patients between the ages 35 - 67 years with physical disability
(P1-P21) were interviewed. The cohort of participants was dominated by Males (n=12) and also distribution
pattern showed that majority of participants were Malay (n=10), followed by Chinese (n=7) and
rest Indians (n=4). When the participants were asked in their opinion what was the preferred method of
recording blood glucose tests, several participants from low socioeconomic status and either divorced
or widowed denied to adapt telemontoring instead preferred to record manually. There were mixed responses
about the barriers to control diet/calories. Even patients with high economic status, middle age
35-50 and diabetes history of 5-10 years were influenced towards alternative treatments.
Conclusion: Study concluded that patients with physical disability required extensive care and effective
strategies to control glucose metabolism.