Podiatric care for diabetic patients with foot problems: An observational study

P. M. Rijken, J. Dekker, G. J. Lankhorst, E. Dekker, K. Bakker, J. Dooren, J. A. Rauwerda

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The aims of this study were to describe podiatric care for diabetic patients with foot problems and to explore the changes in knowledge, self-care behaviour and physical functioning after podiatric care. The treatment characteristics of 26 diabetic patients referred to podiatry were assessed. Prior to the first podiatric visit (T1) and 20 weeks later (T2) these patients filled in a structured questionnaire and performed a six-minute walking test. In half the number of patients preventive goals were set and strived for by general education about the diabetic foot and advice on footwear and self-care behaviour. With regard to treatment, reduction of pain was the most frequently selected goal. To achieve this reduction, a variety of interventions was applied. After podiatric care, patients reported having less severe foot pain and some improvements in functional ability and self-care behaviour were found. This study offers clues to start controlled clinical trials on the effectiveness of podiatry for diabetic patients. Trials should not only be directed to (the role of podiatry in) ulcer healing; it may be even more significant to study its effectiveness for the purpose of prevention and treatment of early-stage diabetic foot symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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