Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Toward Proper Nutrition and Lifestyles in Kosovar’s Diabetic Patients

A. Ukëhaxhaj, B. Sutaj, H. Terziqi, A. Vrella, F. Hoxha

For citation: Ukëhaxhaj A, Sutaj B, Terziqi H, Vrella A, Hoxha F. Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Toward Proper Nutrition and Lifestyles in Kosovar’s Diabetic Patients. International Journal of Biomedicine. 2024;14(1):110-117. doi:10.21103/ Article14(1)_OA17
Originally published March 1, 2024


Background: The aim of our study was to assess the knowledge and attitudes about type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Kosovars patients, as well as self-efficacy toward eating behavior, and determine the impact of diabetes on patients' daily work and lifestyle practices.
Methods and Results: This analytical cross-sectional survey was performed among 400 T2D patients (203 males and 197 females) to assess their knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding diabetic diet and eating habits. It was conducted from February to May 2023 in Kosovo's rural and urban areas. Knowledge, attitudes, and eating behavior were assessed using the self-administered 28-item sets related to glycemic control, physical activity, risk of complications, foot care, and food and nutrition. The largest proportion (42.3%) was made up of the patients over 60 years of age; 41.5% were 40-60 years of age, and only 16.3% were 30-40 years old. Most of the patients were males (50.8%); more than 87% were married. Interviewed participants did not have enough knowledge about the consumption of foods with more fruits, beverages, and sweets. Generally, participants had poor knowledge about the impact of DM on health. Most diabetics in Kosovo still have suboptimal diet practices, choosing to base their main meals around carbohydrates containing food with a high glycemic index, such as white bread and potatoes most of the time. In our case, 38.8% of participants never exercised during the week because they did not know the importance of exercise to treat their disease. In our study, we found no association between the level of diabetes-related knowledge and age, gender, or the years since the patient was diagnosed. A worrying fact for Kosovar patients is that there are no diabetes counseling centers in the regions where they live.
Conclusion: There is a need to increase awareness of the complications of diabetes and consequently improve nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and practices. The benefits of early detection of T2D through screening in the general population are needed in Kosovo.

knowledge • type 2 diabetes • eating habits • Kosovo adults
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Received November 11, 2023.
Accepted January 8, 2024.
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