Introduction: The disease burden of Type 2 diabetes in Nigeria amongst the 54 countries of the African continent. This is so in terms of disease prevalence, morbidity and mortality. Diabetes Type 2 is chronic condition requires regimented management in the form of self-care with implications for health-related behavior. Central to health-related behaviors is the focus on health beliefs and perceptions that underly self-management practices in public health. This systematic review explored health beliefs and perceptions of adults with Type 2 diabetes in Nigeria. The review’s objective was to identify challenges to self-management and role of belief systems in such challenges. The study also aimed to draw from the experiences of adults living with Type 2 diabetes in Nigeria to explore the design of future public health interventions.
Method: The following electronic databases- Medline via Web of Science; Cinahl via EBSCO; Web of Science and PubMed were consulted. In addition, Google Scholar, which is an index of other databases was also utilised. The studies were selected based on an inclusion and exclusion criteria. A systematic literature search generated thirteen relevant studies, which were synthesized to address the objectives.
Results: The findings indicated the complex circumstances in which Type 2 diabetes is experienced in the Nigerian population. Themes explored in this review included - lay understandings of type 2 diabetes; traditional healing beliefs and practices; health literacy and self-management; and access to diabetes services, support and counselling.
Conclusion: The findings called for the need to address challenges in terms of engaging beliefs to inform interventions, health education and healthcare delivery systems which impact on health outcomes of diabetics in Nigeria.
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