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Patients' management of type 2 diabetes in Middle Eastern countries: review of studies

Authors Alsairafi ZK, Taylor KM, Smith FJ, Alattar AT

Received 15 January 2016

Accepted for publication 24 March 2016

Published 10 June 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1051—1062


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Zahra Khalil Alsairafi,1 Kevin Michael Geoffrey Taylor,2 Felicity J Smith,1 Abdulnabi T Alattar3

1Research Department of Practice and Policy, 2Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, University College of London, London, UK; 3Diabetes Unit, Al-Amiri Hospital, Ministry of Health, Safat, Kuwait

Abstract: The increased prevalence of diabetes in Middle Eastern countries is a health policy priority. Important risk factors for diabetes have been identified. Lifestyle interventions and adherence to medications are central to disease prevention and management. This review focuses on the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Middle Eastern countries. The aim is to identify the ways in which knowledge, health beliefs, and social and cultural factors influence adherence to medication and lifestyle measures. Thirty-four studies were identified following a systematic search of the literature. The studies describe the influence of knowledge, health beliefs, culture, and lifestyle on the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Middle East. Findings indicate a lack of health knowledge about diabetes among populations, which has implications for health behaviors, medication adherence, and treatment outcomes. Many identified health beliefs and cultural lifestyle factors, such as religious beliefs, beliefs about fasting during Ramadan, and sedentary lifestyles played a role in patients’ decisions. For better management of this disease, a collaborative approach between patients, their families, health care professionals, and governments should be adopted. Implementing behavioral strategies and psychological interventions that incorporate all health care professionals in the management process have been shown to be effective methods. Such services help patients change their behavior. However, the utilization of such services and interventions is still limited in Arabian countries. Physicians in the Middle East are the health care professionals most involved in the care process.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes mellitus, adherence, health beliefs, lifestyle, Ramadan, diet

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