Adherence to anti-diabetic drug therapy and self management practices among type-2 diabetics in Nigeria

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To describe the pattern of anti-diabetic drug prescribing; ascertain the level of glycemic control, adherence with prescribed anti-diabetic medications, and diabetes self management practices among patients with type-2 diabetes in a tertiary care setting in Nigeria.


University College Hospital (UCH); a 900 bed teaching hospital with medical residents located in Ibadan, southwestern Nigeria.


The study consisted of two phases. A cross-sectional review of randomly selected 200 case notes of type 2 diabetic patients that attended the Endocrinology clinic over 3 month; and crosssectional interviews, with a pre-tested Adherence and Self-Management Monitoring Tool (ASMMT), of 200 consecutive patients that presented their drug prescriptions at the satellite pharmacy unit over a 4 week period at a 900-bed teaching hospital located in Ibadan, South-Western Nigeria.


Oral Hypoglycemic Agents (OHA) were prescribed for 86% (171) of cohorts while insulin and OHA was prescribed in 14% (29). About 70.8% (121) of patients on OHA were on combination therapy. The most frequently prescribed OHA combination was glibenclamide and metformin (95.8%). Glibenclamide was prescribed as twice daily regimen in 69% of cohorts. The most frequently documented side effect was hypoglycemia (60.3%). Only 44% (88) of cohorts had adequate glycemic control; of these, 93% (82) were adjudged adherent with prescribed anti-diabetic drugs. Interviews with the structured ASMMT revealed that 59% of patients were non-adherent with the previous anti-diabetic drugs due to lack of finance (51.7%); side effects (34.5%); perceived inefficacy of prescribed anti-diabetic drugs leading to self-medication with local herbs (13.8%). Only 20% of non-adherent patients claimed disclosure to physicians during consultation. The identified factors for non-disclosure were lack of privacy during consultation (58%); and short consultation time (42%). The knowledge and practice of critical components of diabetes self-management behaviours were generally low among the cohort studied. However, it was significantly higher among patient judged adherent with their prescribed anti-diabetic medications (P < 0.05).


Majority of patients with type 2 diabetes in an ambulatory tertiary care setting in Nigeria are managed with OHA combinations, mainly glibenclamide and metformin. While the current prescribing strategy achieved glycemic control in about one third of patients, majority are still not meeting the recommended blood glucose targets due to poor adherence with prescribed drug regimen, and poor knowledge and practice of successful self-management.

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