Virtual Conference
Dr. Martha Mbewe Mwelwa

Dr. Martha Mbewe Mwelwa

University of Zambia, Zambia

Title: Factors influencing care of diabetic patients in the home setup or community: A case study of mpongwe and ibenga mission hospitals of mpongwe district in copperbelt province


Introduction: Diabetes is one of the primary diagnoses for admission to palliative home health care units being a chronic illness. It requires significant behaviour change in the family, because the demands of adhering to the patient's healthcare regime are associated with psychosocial conflicts for the patient and the family environment. Essential Components of Palliative Medicine include patients’ education about their illness and prognosis, building rapport with patients and family caregivers and managing patients' symptoms, functional status to improve quality of life.  This study investigated factors influencing knowledge, challenges and attitude of family caregivers in the care of diabetic patients.

A non - interventional cross sectional study design was used on 70 simple randomly selected participants. Data were collected using structured questionnaire which was analyzed using Statistical Package of Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0. Chi-square statistical test with a P-value of <0.05% was used to determine the relationship between variables. 

The study revealed that there was poor management of diabetic patients as the majority 53 (75.7%) of the participants were not knowledgeable, whilst 48 (68.6%) of them had several challenges. There was a strong association between challenges faced by clients to understand their condition and attitudes of care givers with a p-value of 0.00

Conclusion: The most contributing factors that influence the care of diabetic patients in homes included lack of knowledge, challenges with drugs keeping, diet modification, transport and negative attitude of family caregivers. Strengthening palliative care model would improve patient understanding and develop positive care giver perceptions towards management of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus. More research on understanding and integration of family care for chronic conditions will help to circumvent the problem. Improving home-based care will help to improve the quality of care given to patients in their home set up.

Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Home Care, Palliative Medicine Elements, 


Martha Mbewe Mwelwa is a nurse specialist with an MSc degree in Nursing from the University of Zambia and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. studies at the same University in the School of Nursing Sciences. She is a special research fellow, lecturer, and course coordinator in the department of basic and clinical sciences. She is an upcoming researcher who has so far published more than 10 papers in reputable journals and has been serving as an editorial board member of JRNHM. She is also a peer reviewer of research articles before publication both locally and internationally. She has a passion for improving the standards of nursing education amidst a variety of specialties through knowledge sharing and translation. 

She has a vast experience in the nursing profession where she has worked as a bedside nurse for 5 years, registered operating theatre nurse for 8 years, and as a nurse lecturer for the past 14 years. To promote the nurse’s and midwifery's continuing professional development, Martha is the Chairperson for the Skills and professional development subcommittee at the University of Zambia School of Nursing and also an ambassador for the nurses learning guild in the ECSA region monitored by the East, Central and Southern College of Nursing (ECSACON). 

As a woman in employment, She has exhibited her passion for supporting women in academia as she belongs to the women’s committee for the University of Zambia lectures and researchers union, a subcommittee fighting for gender equality in the place of work.