The role of foot self-care behavior on developing foot ulcers in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy: A prospective study

Yen Fan Chin, Jersey Liang, Woan Shyuan Wang, Brend Ray Sea Hsu, Tzu Ting Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Although foot self-care behavior is viewed as beneficial for the prevention of diabetic foot ulceration, the effect of foot self-care behavior on the development of diabetic foot ulcer has received little empirical investigation. Objective: To explore the relationship between foot self-care practice and the development of diabetic foot ulcers among diabetic neuropathy patients in northern Taiwan. Methods: A longitudinal study was conducted at one medical center and one teaching hospital in northern Taiwan. Participants: A total of 295 diabetic patients who lacked sensitivity to a monofilament were recruited. Five subjects did not provide follow-up data; thus, only the data of 290 subjects were analyzed. The mean age was 67.0 years, and 72.1% had six or fewer years of education. Methods: Data were collected by a modified version of the physical assessment portion of the Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument and the Diabetes Foot Self-Care Behavior Scale. Cox regression was used to analyze the predictive power of foot self-care behaviors. Results: A total of 29.3% (n=. 85) of diabetic neuropathy patients developed a diabetic foot ulcer by the one-year follow-up. The total score on the Diabetes Foot Self-Care Behavior Scale was significantly associated with the risk of developing foot ulcers (HR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.01-1.07, p=. 0.004). After controlling for the demographic variables and the number of diabetic foot ulcer hospitalizations, however, the effect was non-significant (HR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.00-1.06, p=. 0.061). Among the foot self-care behaviors, lotion-applying behavior was the only variable that significantly predicted the occurrence of diabetic foot ulcer, even after controlling for demographic variables and diabetic foot ulcer predictors (neuropathy severity, number of diabetic foot ulcer hospitalizations, insulin treatment, and peripheral vascular disease; HR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.04-1.36, p = 0.012). Conclusions: Among patients with diabetic neuropathy, foot self-care practice may be insufficient to prevent the occurrence of diabetic foot ulcer. Instead, lotion-applying behavior predicted the occurrence of diabetic foot ulcers in diabetic patients with neuropathy. Further studies are needed to explore the mechanism of lotion-applying behavior as it relates to the occurrence of diabetic foot ulcer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1568-1574
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Volume51
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Diabetic neuropathies
  • Foot ulcer
  • Self-care

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