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Perception and Screening Practices for NonCommunicable Diseases among Pentecostals in a Semi-Urban Community: A Divergence from Paradigm

Background: Anecdotal evidence suggests a rising incidence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and a common attitude of “spiritualizing” diseases among Pentecostals. Some risk factors are modifiable and/or preventable thus understanding the level awareness of risk factors, causes, features of and screening practices for common NCDs among Pentecostals in Sapele, Delta state has become imperative so as to provide a premise for instituting interventions that will tackle NCDs in our locality. Methodology: This study was conducted among Pentecostals in Sapele, Delta state by adopting a descriptive cross-sectional design. A two-stage sampling involving firstly a simple random technique and then a stratified sampling method with proportionate allocation was applied to select study participants. The study instrument was a pre-tested semi-structured self-administered questionnaire. Data generated was analyzed with SPSS software version 22. Results: Males were marginally more than females (53.1% vs. 46.9%). Age group 40-49 years was most frequent (40.6%) with a mean age of 38.15 years for all participants. All participants were aware of diabetes mellitus, kidney failure (disease) and hypertension. Significant proportion of the respondents opined that diabetes (68.8%), hypertension (93.8%) and kidney failure (96.9%) can be prevented; and 62.5% agreed that a healthy lifestyle was important for preventing these diseases. Majority (71.9%) identified dietary control as a means of cure but more than three-fifth did not know drugs or herbal concoction could be applied in treating diabetes. Over three-fifth (62.5%) did not know dialysis was a renal replacement therapy. A sizeable proportion of all participants had never checked their weight, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, lipid profile, HIV and HBV status. Conclusion: All participants were aware of diabetes; hypertension and kidney disease and all knew what hypertension represented. Nonetheless, the significant disparity in their screening practices indicates that health promotion based on health belief model is required to change their poor screening practice.

Author(s): Obiebi IP*

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