Therapeutic patient education programs on diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review

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Diabetes is a chronic disease associated with the potential for blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, and lower limb amputations. The global prevalence of diabetes is rising, particularly in the sub-Saharan African (SSA) region, where accessing treatment and antidiabetic drugs is complex, leading to challenges in managing the condition. Intentional and structured therapeutic education has demonstrated its ability to enhance health outcomes in diabetes patients. Given the numerous healthcare deficiencies in sub-Saharan Africa, the authors have reevaluated the role of therapeutic patient education (TPE) in this context. This systematic review adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. We queried four databases between March 14 and June 30, 2023 and conducted Cochrane's Risk of Bias analysis on the included studies. Subsequently, a qualitative synthesis of the results was performed. The final analysis included thirteen studies. Seven of these, which assessed glycemic control, reported statistically significant results. Additionally, other clinical parameters such as body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and lipid levels also exhibited some significant improvements. Knowledge substantially increased following the intervention, while attitude, self-care practices, and medication adherence showed no significant improvements. Nurse-led and peer-led intervention programs produced positive outcomes, whereas technology-based intervention methods did not yield favorable results. TPE programs in sub-Saharan Africa have a significant impact on both clinical and non-clinical outcomes in diabetes patients. However, the sustainability of these outcomes remains uncertain. Further research is needed to assess the long-term effects of TPE on diabetes patients.
Iwelomen, Omomene, Jean Toniolo, Pierre-Marie Preux, et al. 'Therapeutic Patient Education Programs on Diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review', PloS One, vol. 19/no. 6, (2024), pp. e0299526.