Background: Self-care is essential for the prevention of complications in patients with diabetes, but several authors report that even with health education programs, the incidence of complications in patients with diabetes continues to increase.
Objective: We aimed to examine adherence to self-care strategies and the repercussions of adherence on the clinical profiles of individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Method: We performed a systematic review according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We searched for related studies in 4 databases: PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Latin American and Caribbean Health Science Literature (LILACS). We included observational studies in English and Portuguese that evaluated the effects of self-care in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Results: The search resulted in the identification of 615 articles, of which 34 met all inclusion criteria. General self-care was considered unsatisfactory. Physical exercise was classified as the self-care activity that was performed less frequently by individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus; adherence to medication was the most frequent behavior among volunteers.
Conclusion: The studies indicated a poor adherence of the population to good self-care practices, reflected by the increase in complications related to DM.