Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices on the Disposal of Sharps in Patients of the UP-Philippine General Hospital Diabetes Clinic
Introduction. Diabetics using insulin are the largest group of patients that use syringes and needles outside of the hospital. Despite this, few studies have been done regarding the disposal of sharps of these patients in the community setting.
Objectives. The objective of phase 1 was to create a validated, self-administered questionnaire to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of diabetic patients with regard to the disposal of sharps in the community setting. The objectives of phase 2 were to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of these patients and identify which factors influence these characteristics.
Methodology. Literature review and a focus group discussion were conducted. A conceptual framework based on the Health Belief Model was created. Questionnaire items were reviewed by an expert panel, translated into Filipino and pre-tested. The final questionnaire was administered to 130 patients.
Results. Majority of patients (82%) disposed of their sharps through the community garbage collection and most (76%) used a sharps container. Less than one-fourth (23.7%) had acceptable disposal techniques. Respondents had moderate knowledge (mean score of 62.2%) and positive attitude (mean score of 3.95 out of 5) towards sharps disposal. A longer duration of diabetes mellitus (DM) and insulin use negatively influenced disposal practices. Attitude was positively influenced by needle stick injury to self and college education, but being married exerted a negative influence.
Conclusion. The majority of patients at the UP-PGH DM clinic have improper sharps disposal practices, and need to be better educated about proper techniques.
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