• Karoline Kragelund Nielsen Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Niels Steensens Vej 2-4, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark.
  • Michael Calopietro Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Niels Steensens Vej 2-4, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark.
  • Toh Peng Yeow Penang Medical College, Jalan Sepoy Lines, 10450 Penang, Malaysia.
  • Tahir bin Aris Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Jalan Bangsar, 50590 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Ulla Bjerre-Christensen Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Niels Steensens Vej 2-4, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark.
Keywords: diabetes, patient engagement, malaysia, educational needs assessment, barriers to self-care


Malaysia seeks to transform its public healthcare sector to manage the growing number of people with diabetes. Patient engagement is a critical clinical competency for healthcare providers treating people with diabetes. In this study, we investigate the perceptions of and ability to practice patient engagement among doctors and nurses working in Malaysia’s primary healthcare system. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine non-specialist doctors and ten nurses working in primary healthcare clinics. Further, 12 key informants with specialist knowledge about diabetes care and the healthcare system in Malaysia were interviewed. The interviews were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Three main themes emerged: 1) understanding barriers to self-care and treatment, 2) perceived training needs and skills within patient engagement and empowerment, and 3) challenges to the practice of patient engagement. A range of barriers was identified in healthcare providers’ ability to practice patient engagement. Future efforts should seek to improve competencies within patient engagement, identification of especially psychosocial barriers to self-care and empowerment. Yet, available manpower and time also influence whether patient engagement is practiced.

Author Biographies

Tahir bin Aris, Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Jalan Bangsar, 50590 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Director Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health

Ulla Bjerre-Christensen, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Niels Steensens Vej 2-4, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark.

Head of Steno Education Center


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How to Cite
Kragelund Nielsen, K., Calopietro , M., Yeow, T. P., Tahir bin Aris, & Bjerre-Christensen, U. (2020). PERCEPTIONS AND ABILITIES RELATED TO PATIENT ENGAGEMENT IN DIABETES CARE AMONG PRIMARY HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS IN MALAYSIA: A QUALITATIVE STUDY. Malaysian Journal of Public Health Medicine, 20(2), 207-214.