Prioritisation of diabetes-related footcare amongst primary care healthcare professionals

Leanne Mullan, Karen Wynter, Andrea Driscoll, Bodil Rasmussen

1 Citationer (Scopus)


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To assess primary healthcare professionals' priority for managing diabetic foot disease (DFD) over the progressive course of the condition compared to other aspects of diabetes care.

BACKGROUND: DFD affects up to 60 million people globally. Evidence suggests that comprehensive preventative footcare may reduce serious complications of DFD, such as amputation.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional quantitative study reported according to STROBE statement.

METHODS: General Practitioners (GPs) and Credentialled Diabetes Educators (CDEs) working within Australian primary care were invited to complete an online survey, to obtain information about preventative and early intervention footcare priorities and practices. Ten GPs and 84 CDEs completed the survey.

RESULTS: On diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) review was identified to be one of the top three priorities of care by 57 (61%) of participants whilst at 20-year history of diabetes 73 (78%) participants indicated its priority. Foot assessments became a priority for 78% (n = 73) of participants and podiatry referrals a priority for 53% (n = 50) of participants only when a "foot concern" was raised. Referrals to specialist high-risk foot podiatrists or services were a first priority for 56% (n = 53), when the person had significant amputation risk factors.

CONCLUSION: Diabetes-related preventative footcare assessments and management remain a low priority amongst primary healthcare professionals. Preventative care for asymptomatic complications, such as DFD, may be overlooked in favour of monitoring HbA1c or medication management. Limited prioritisation of footcare in primary care is concerning given the risks for amputation associated with DFD.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: This study reveals the need for primary healthcare decision makers and clinicians to ensure preventative footcare is a focused priority earlier in the diabetes care continuum. Collaborative and widespread promotion of the importance of proactive rather than reactive footcare practices is required to support prevention of foot ulcers and amputation.

TidsskriftJournal of Clinical Nursing
Udgave nummer23-24
Sider (fra-til)4653-4673
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2020
Udgivet eksterntJa


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