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Knowledge, Attitude and Practice on Disposal of Sharps Waste at Home Among Patients with Diabetes and their Caregivers

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 5 ]


Amal M. Khan*, Rasheed A. AL Ghamdi and Khaled A. Alswat   Pages 11 - 20 ( 10 )


Introduction: A recent CDC report estimates that only 17.2% people with diabetes receive insulin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practice of patients with diabetes and their caregivers towards sharps waste disposal at home.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from February to July 2019 at the two main diabetes specialist centers in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Data collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire, which was designed after a thorough literature review, were used to assess knowledge, attitude and practice using a total of 36 items.

Results: 406 patients comprised of mostly females and those who were unemployed, with a mean age of 53.2 +18.5 years and a mean DM duration of 13.6 +8.7 years were included. Approximately <10% reported sharing used insulin needles or lancets as well as accidental family member sticks by the used needle or lancet. More than half of the respondents answered, “I don’t know” regarding the knowledge of transmission of hepatitis B or C and HIV by sharing lancet or insulin needles. 52.5%, 51.7% and 47.0% of participants were considered to have high knowledge, high attitude and good practice levels, respectively. 78.8% of participants stated that they disposed of sharps waste in public household garbage bags, and one-third disagreed that they safely collected and brought their used sharps to a hospital. The highest score in the practice section was on optimal needle recap. A partial correlation adjusting to determine the relationship of practice levels with knowledge and attitude levels after controlling for baseline characteristics and duration of DM showed a statistically significant positive correlation between practice and knowledge levels (r = .172, P = .001) while a statistically significant negative correlation between practice and attitude levels (r = - .116, P = .021).

Conclusion: Patients with type 1 diabetes exhibited a significantly higher mean score in practice only compared to patients with type 2 diabetes. A partial correlation showed a statistically significant positive correlation between practice and knowledge and a negative correlation between practice and attitude level.


Diabetes, sharps, disposal, waste, lancet, injections, insulin.


Family Medicine Residency Program, Ministry of Health, Taif, Ministry of Health, Taif, Medicine Department, Taif University, Taif

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