Author(s): Lauterbach S, Kostev K, Becker R
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To describe the foot characteristics of diabetic patients attending a podiatry practice for their first consultation. The objective was to determine how effectively diabetic foot ulcers are being prevented in primary care. METHOD: All diabetic patients who presented at a podiatry practice between 2006 and 2008 for their first consultation were analysed. Anonymous data were obtained from the standard patient anamnesis sheet completed by the podiatrist. These included results of patient interviews and examinations. RESULTS: A total of 230 diabetic patients (93.9\% had type 2 diabetes mellitus and 6.1\% had type 1) were analysed. The mean age was 67.7 years (+/- 10.8). Just under half (47.4\%) were female. The mean duration of diabetes was 12.6 years (+/- 10.5) years. 70.4\% of the patients had diabetic neuropathy (confidence intervals: 64.5-76.3), of whom 73.2\% already had resting foot pain or strain foot pain while walking. 58.3\% of the patients had toenail mycosis, and of these 38.1\% had the infection in all 10 toenails. Most of the patients had at least one foot deformities (89.6\% splayfoot and 37.0\% flatfoot). 40.2\% had no sensation to microfilament testing on either their right or left foot toes. The overall mean vibration sensation test threshold was 3.7 (+/- 2.3). CONCLUSION: While there is a structure and strategy for the primary and secondary prevention of the diabetic foot ulcers, its delivery is often ineffective. This audit shows that, in Germany, the detection and prevention of diabetic foot problems in podiatric practices happens far too late.
This article was published in J Wound Care
and referenced in Primary Healthcare: Open Access