Adherence to wearing prescription custom-made footwear in patients with diabetes at high risk for plantar foot ulceration

Roelof Waaijman, Renske Keukenkamp, Mirjam de Haart, Wojtek P. Polomski, Frans Nollet, Sicco A. Bus

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102 Citations (Scopus)


Prescription custom-made footwear can only be effective in preventing diabetic foot ulcers if worn by the patient. Particularly, the high prevalence of recurrent foot ulcers focuses the attention on adherence, for which objective data are nonexisting. We objectively assessed adherence in patients with high risk of ulcer recurrence and evaluated what determines adherence. In 107 patients with diabetes, neuropathy, a recently healed plantar foot ulcer, and custom-made footwear, footwear use was measured during 7 consecutive days using a shoe-worn, temperature-based monitor. Daily step count was measured simultaneously using an ankle-worn activity monitor. Patients logged time away from home. Adherence was calculated as the percentage of steps that prescription footwear was worn. Determinants of adherence were evaluated in multivariate linear regression analysis. Mean ± SD adherence was 71 ± 25%. Adherence at home was 61 ± 32%, over 3,959 ± 2,594 steps, and away from home 87 ± 26%, over 2,604 ± 2,507 steps. In 35 patients with low adherence ( <60%), adherence at home was 28 ± 24%. Lower BMI, more severe foot deformity, and more appealing footwear were significantly associated with higher adherence. The results show that adherence to wearing custom-made footwear is insufficient, particularly at home where patients exhibit their largest walking activity. This low adherence is a major threat for reulceration. These objective findings provide directions for improvement in adherence, which could include prescribing specific off-loading footwear for indoors, and they set a reference for future comparative research on footwear adherence in diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1613-1618
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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