chan mf & zang y-l (2007) Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic illness in association with Journal of Clinical Nursing 16, 7b, 234-242Nurses' perceived and actual level of diabetes mellitus knowledge: results of a cluster analysisAims. Nurses' perceived and actual diabetes knowledge was explored by identifying profiles of nurses working in two hospitals in Hong Kong. Relationships between nurses' perceived and actual diabetes knowledge are explored. Background. In non-specialist clinical settings in Hong Kong, nurses provide diabetes self-management education to patients, therefore, nurse's knowledge and skill in giving diabetes care is very important. Though patients' perceptions are important, if patients solely select and set their own priorities for learning about and managing diabetes, their care could be compromised by knowledge deficits. Method. A descriptive correlational survey was conducted during the period September 2004 to July 2005 in two local hospitals in Hong Kong. 245 nurses completed a structured questionnaire. Nurses' demographic data, competence, perceived and actual diabetes mellitus knowledge were collected. Results. Two-step cluster analysis yielded three clusters: Cluster 1 nurses were characterized by relatively good competence and high diabetes knowledge than nurses in Clusters 2 and 3. Cluster 3 nurses reported low competence and diabetes knowledge than nurses in Clusters 1 and 2. Cluster 2 was a large group of nurses holding both positive and moderate competence and diabetes knowledge. Statistically significant differences were found between clusters. Overall, nurses' perceived diabetes knowledge was statistically significant correlated with actual knowledge (rs = 0·32). Conclusions. Nurses have the responsibility to educate patients with correct and updated information, therefore, knowledge should be provided and maintained to a certain standard. Relevance to clinical practice. Lack of knowledge among nursing staff has contributed to diabetes patients receiving inadequate health care instruction. As indicated by the results of this study, 'tailor-made' educational programmes should be designed to meet the learning needs of each subgroup. Expertise and nurse education should be recognized when such educational programmes are designed.
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