Document Type: Research Paper
Dubai Hospital, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, UAE
Ramadan fasting has been a major concern among researchers considering the theoretically imposed risk on patients with diabetes mellitus due to prolonged fasting. Studies indicate that the knowledge and practices of physicians do not comply with the proposed recommendations in this regard in many cases. This study aimed to explore the viewpoints and attitudes of physicians toward the management of diabetes mellitus regarding to Ramadan fasting. In addition, we assessed the knowledge and compliance of physicians with available recommendations regarding the management of diabetes mellitus in Ramadan. According to the results, Ninety five present of the physicians (n=862) believed the type of diabetes to be “important” or “very important” in decision-making for Ramadan fasting. Control of diabetes before Ramadan was noted as “important” or “very important” by 95% of the physicians (n=848). Moreover, the majority of respondents emphasized on the pivotal role of self-monitoring of blood glucose in the management of patients receiving insulin or sulphonylureas (SUs), and to a lesser extend in cases treated with other oral hypoglycemic agents than SUs. Among the participants, 63.8% (n=397) confirmed the availability of Ramadan-focused educational programs for their patients, whereas thirty six present (n=225) mentioned the absence of such programs. According to the results of this study, it is crucial to raise the awareness of patients and physicians about the importance of Ramadan fasting through structured educational interventions in order to reduce the health risks associated with fasting in diabetic patients. Therefore, it is recommended that simplified guidelines and educational materials be dispensed for healthcare providers for related training programs before Ramadan.