Author(s): Viswanathan V, Shobhana R, Snehalatha C, Seena R, Ramachandran A
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The patient himself plays the crucial role in the prevention of diabetic foot disease and therefore education on foot care is important. In this study, we have evaluated the knowledge of the diabetic subjects regarding the foot problems and the care of feet in order to identify areas that require stress in the education programme. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two hundred and fifty, consecutive cases of Type 2 diabetes (M:F, 176:74, age 57.2 +/- 9.7 yrs, duration 12.9 +/- 7.9 yrs) were selected for this study from the out-patient department of our hospital. A questionnaire was filled up for each patient by personal interview. The total score was 100 and a score of < 50 was considered as a low score for foot care knowledge. RESULTS: A score of < 50 was obtained in 67.2\%. Low score was more common in women (78.5\%) than in men (62.5\%) (chi 2 = 5.26, P = 0.022). Low scores (< 50) were more common among those with lower level of formal education (chi 2 = 70.0, P < 0.0001), there were more women with low educational status. Significant foot problems like gangrene, foot ulcers were present in 27.2\% and low scores were more common among those with these complications (82\% vs 62\%) (chi 2 = 8.3, P = 0.004). In general the scores on awareness of general foot care principles and basic facts about the foot complications were poor. Most of them (72\%) had good knowledge about the right usage of foot wear. There was a trend to have lower scores with poor formal education (chi 2 = 51.1, P < 0.0001) and also with increasing age. There was no correlation between the scores and the number of hospital visits. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that 31.2\% of the variations in the scores were explained by the level of education. CONCLUSIONS: This study underscores the importance of patient education on foot care principles, especially so, considering the magnitude of the problem of diabetes and the lower levels of literacy and poor socio economic status of many patients in this country.
This article was published in J Assoc Physicians India
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy