Adherence and Wearing Time of Prescribed Footwear among People at Risk of Diabetes-Related Foot Ulcers: Which Measure to Use?

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Adherence to prescribed footwear is essential to prevent diabetes-related foot ulcers. The aim was to compare different measures of adherence and wearing time of prescribed footwear with a reference adherence measure, among people with diabetes at high risk of foot ulceration. We followed 53 participants for 7 consecutive days. A temperature sensor measured wearing time of prescribed footwear and a triaxial accelerometer assessed weight-bearing activities. Subjective wearing time was self-reported. Reference adherence measure was proportion of weight-bearing time prescribed footwear was worn. We calculated Spearman's correlation coefficients, kappa coefficients, and areas under the curve (AUC) for the association between the reference measure and other measures of adherence and wearing time. Proportion of daily steps with prescribed footwear worn had a very strong association (r = 0.96, Κ = 0.93; AUC: 0.96-1.00), objective wearing time had a strong association (r = 0.91, Κ = 0.85, AUC: 0.89-0.99), and subjective wearing time had a weak association (r = 0.42, Κ = 0.38, AUC: 0.67-0.81) with the reference measure. Objectively measured proportion of daily steps with prescribed footwear is a valid measure of footwear adherence. Objective wearing time is reasonably valid, and may be used in clinical practice and for long-term measurements. Subjective wearing time is not recommended to be used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1648
JournalSensors (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2023


  • diabetic foot
  • foot ulcer
  • footwear
  • patient compliance
  • shoes
  • treatment adherence and compliance
  • validation study

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