Purpose: A key component of effective diabetes care is understanding patients’ perceptions about diabetes management. Patients’ attitudes and intentions towards taking medical advice may predict the outcomes for effective diabetes care. This study aims to measure participants’ attitudes, beliefs and intentions towards following medical advice to manage their diabetes using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). The domains of the TPB are correlated with clinical measures of diabetes to determine if these attitudes and intentions are predictive of better diabetes control.

Methods: A pilot study was conducted. A 34-item survey was designed using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) framework and administered via mail by four general practice clinics. Included participants (N = 104; response rate 29.5%) had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and were taking medication for glycaemic control. Scores for each domain of the TPB survey were correlated with participants’ clinical indicators for diabetes: HbA1c, blood pressure, lipid profile, cholesterol, and kidney health (eGFR and albumin: creatinine ratio) and BMI.

Results: Participants surveyed generally reported positive attitudes and intention to follow medical advice. Medical advice was perceived to be beneficial and useful by the majority. However, in general, there was no correlation between positive intentions and improved clinical indicators of disease. Clinical indicators did not improve with duration of illness. The burden of illness is likely a mitigating factor for positive intention as participants perceive medical advice as difficult and inconvenient to follow.

Conclusions: Patients’ individual capacity to implement medical advice should be addressed in shared-decision making models to potentially improve patient outcomes towards therapeutic targets.


diabetes management, medical adherence, patient perspectives, primary health care, T2DM, theory of planned behaviour

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Available for download on Sunday, July 03, 2022

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