Introduction: Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are at significantly higher
risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD). There is a scarcity of literature reviews that describe
and summarize T2DM patients' knowledge and perception about CVD prevention.
Objectives: To describe and summarize the assessment of knowledge and perceptions about CVD
risk and preventive approaches among patients with T2DM.
Methods: A scoping review methodology was adopted, and three scientific databases, Google Scholar,
Science Direct, and PubMed were searched using predefined search terms. A multistage screening
process that considered relevancy, publication year (2009-2019), English language, and article
type (original research) was followed. We formulated research questions focused on the assessment
of levels of knowledge and perceptions of the illness relevant to CVD prevention and the identification
of associated patients' characteristics.
Results: A total of 16 studies were included. Patients were not confident to identify CVD risk and
other clinical consequences that may occur in the prognostic pathway of T2DM. Furthermore, patients
were less likely to identify all CV risk factors indicating a lack of understanding of the multi--
factorial contribution of CVD risk. Patients' beliefs about medications were correlated with their
level of adherence to medications for CVD prevention. Many knowledge gaps were identified, including
the basic disease expectations at the time of diagnosis, identification of individuals' CVD
risk factors, and management aspects. Knowledge and perceptions were affected by patients' demographic
characteristics, e.g., educational level, race, age, and area of residence.
Conclusion: There are knowledge gaps concerning the understanding of CVD risk among patients
with T2DM. The findings necessitate educational initiatives to boost CVD prevention among patients
with T2DM. Furthermore, these should be individualized based on patients' characteristics,
knowledge gaps, disease duration, and estimated CVD risk.