Diabetic patients benefit from foot care program

A foot care program consisting of nursing assessments and patient education may be associated with a decrease in the frequency of neuropathy and improved footwear adequacy in diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease, according to a recent study.

Researchers enrolled 123 patients receiving hemodialysis at the Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Regular assessments by a foot care nurse with expertise in foot care and wound management and patient education about foot care practices and footwear selections were instituted as a preventative program. Researchers reviewed medical records and examined patients and compared data collected with data about patients from a previous study done from the Health Sciences Center prior to the development of the foot care program.

Study results showed that the left tibialis anterior, left tibialis posterior and left peroneal muscles were more frequently weak in patients with diabetes vs. non-diabetic patients. When compared with the previous study from 5 years earlier, a smaller percentage of diabetic patients had sensory neuropathy. However, a greater percentage of diabetic patients had absent pedal pulses in the current study. Researchers found the frequency of inadequate or poor quality footwear was less in the current study vs. the previous study.

For more information:

Reda A, Hurton S, Embil JM, et al. Effect of a preventive foot care program on lower extremity complications in diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease. Foot Ankle Surg. Aug. 10, 2012. [Epub ahead of print]

Disclosure: The researchers had no relevant financial disclosures

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