Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding diabetes and hypertension among school students of Nepal: A rural vs. urban study

PLoS One. 2022 Aug 31;17(8):e0270186. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0270186. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: The burden of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension is increasing worldwide including low-and middle-income countries. Good knowledge of such diseases among young people will make them adopt a healthy lifestyle from an early age, which will, in turn, prevent them from developing such non-communicable diseases. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice of rural and urban school students regarding diabetes and hypertension. We also aimed to see the differences in the knowledge, attitude, and practice of students from rural vs. urban communities.

METHODS: A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted from May 1 2021 to June 30, 2021, in four schools in Nepal (1 from a metropolitan city, 2 from an urban municipality, and 1 from a rural municipality). The study was conducted among the secondary-level students of classes 9 and 10 in each school. The data were collected from the participants via pre-tested questionnaires and analyzed in the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0. Logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine the determinants of knowledge and attitude regarding diabetes and hypertension.

RESULTS: Of 380 respondents, 35.5% were residents of metropolitan city, 37.4% were from the urban municipality and 27.1% were from the rural municipality. The mean age of respondents was 15.61±0.99 years and 51.1% were male. Respondents having a family history of diabetes and hypertension were 21.1% and 37.9% respectively. Respondents from the metropolitan city had significantly higher mean knowledge scores than the respondents from the urban and rural municipality (p<0.001) while there was no significant difference in mean attitude scores. There was significantly higher daily consumption of fruits and vegetables among the participants from rural municipality (p<0.01) while no significant difference was seen in salt consumption and time spent on physical activity. In univariate regression analysis, place of residence, family occupation, parental education, and family history of diabetes and hypertension were significantly associated with good knowledge level. In multivariate analysis, only a higher grade of study (grade 10 in comparison to grade 9) was an independent predictor of a student’s good attitude level.

CONCLUSION: In general, there was a good attitude towards diabetes and hypertension despite poor knowledge. The mean knowledge scores were lower in urban municipality and rural municipality compared to metropolitan city. Low knowledge scores on diabetes and hypertension among the students show an urgent need for school-based interventional programs focusing on non-communicable diseases and lifestyle modification with more emphasis on rural communities.

PMID:36044457 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0270186

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