Publication details [#59635]

Mohamad, Emma, Mohd Rezal Hamzah, Sabariah Mohamed Salleh and Abdul Latiff Ahmad. 2015. Diabetes knowledge in health communication research. Are we measuring the right knowledge? Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 25 (2) : 191–207.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper systematically reviews measurements used in past studies on diabetes and explores how these measurements can be improved for future studies conducted in Malaysia. Diabetes is chosen given the seriousness of this disease in the Asian region. 11 out of 561 articles were identified for analytical purposes in tandem with the observed theme: measurement of knowledge for diabetic patients. Out of these 11 studies, eight studies were conducted in Asia. Further exploration on the items used to measure knowledge uncover critical need to include dimension of cultural knowledge on diabetes among patients, as opposed to focussing only on scientific health knowledge items. Measuring cultural knowledge of diabetes helps researchers understand patients’ interpretation of their illness and how patients assess risks in relation to their health choices. When dealing with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, knowledge serves as a vital tool to empower patients, increase self efficacy and instill self confidence for them to make the right health decisions. However, in facing the 21st century, the challenge is not just to measure how much medical information people have, but also being able to measure cultural knowledge and how to use this knowledge to reach out effectively to patients through health promotion. By measuring people’s cultural knowledge on diabetes accurately, researchers can learn how to improve treatment and increase health literacy in general throughout Asia.