Experiences of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients with Nonhealing Wounds in Ghana

Lauren Barker, University of New Hampshire, Durham


I traveled to Ghana, Africa in the summer of 2016 to study diabetic wounds at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in the city of Kumasi. Ghana is transforming from a developing nation to a middle-income nation. This transformation has led to the development of chronic conditions commonly seen in developed Western countries, such as diabetes. A complication of diabetes, diabetic nonhealing wounds, is a growing problem in Ghana as well as in the United States. In this descriptive study, my objective was to discover if there was a lack of education for patients with T2DM. I wanted to see if a deficitin knowledge on the causes, preventative measures, and consequences of poorly managed diabetes was connected to the development of diabetic nonhealing wounds. In total, I interviewed 32 patients who had nonhealing diabetic wounds. My findings contribute to a greater understanding of the way people with T2DM nonhealing wounds manage their illness and receive care in the Kumasi region of Ghana. This small, qualitative study may provide useful information about the lack of understanding patients have of diabetes and diabetic wound management. Health care providers may use this information to better support patients in self-management of diabetes and diabetic wounds.