The state of diabetes care and obstacles to better care in Aceh, Indonesia: a mixed-methods study

Hizir Sofyan, Farah Diba, Suryane S. Susanti, Marthoenis Marthoenis, Ichsan Ichsan, Novi Reandy Sasmita, Till Seuring, Sebastian Vollmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cardio-metabolic diseases are a major cause of death worldwide, including in Indonesia, where diabetes is one of the most critical diseases for the health system to manage. Methods: We describe the characteristics, levels of control, health behavior, and diabetes-related complications of diabetes patients in Aceh, Indonesia. We use baseline data and blood testing from a randomized-controlled trial. We conducted semi-structured interviews with eight health providers from Posbindu and Prolanis programs that target diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We also conducted three focus group discussions with 24 diabetes patients about their experiences of living with diabetes and the existing support programs. Results: The blood tests revealed average HbA1c levels indicative of poor glycemic control in 75.8 percent of patients and only 20.3 percent were free from any symptoms. Our qualitative findings suggest that patients are diagnosed after diabetes-related symptoms manifest, and that they find it hard to comply with treatment recommendations and lifestyle advice. The existing programs related to NCDs are not tailored to their needs. Conclusion: We identify the need to improve diabetes screening to enable earlier treatment and achieve better control of the disease. Among diagnosed patients, there are widespread beliefs about diabetes medication and alternative forms of treatment that need to be addressed in a respectful dialogue between healthcare professionals and patients. Current diabetes screening, treatment and management programs should be revised to meet the needs of the affected population and to better respond to the increasing burden of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number271
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Diabetes
  • Health systems
  • Indonesia


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