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Abstract

AN OBSERVATIONAL STUDY ON THE PREVALENCE OF FOOT ULCER AMONG DIABETIC PATIENTS AND THE EXTEND OF FOOT CARE TAKEN BY THEM

Anjana Sailan1*, Merlin N. J. and Shaiju S. Dharan

ABSTRACT

Background: Diabetes mellitus is a long term metabolic disorder characterised by high blood sugar, lack of insulin or insulin resistance. Even though there are many complications affecting the person with diabetes, none are more devastating than those complications involving the foot. Diabetic foot lesions have significant health and socioeconomic problems holding adverse effects on quality of life of the patients and imposing a heavy economic burden on the patients. Foot ulcers significantly contribute to morbidity and mortality of patients with diabetes mellitus. The diabetic patients with foot ulcers require long term hospitalization and carry the risk of limb amputation. Methodology: The study was carried out among 250 diabetic patients in the area around Thiruvananthapuram, South Kerala. The study was a prospective observational study carried out for a period of 1 month. Simple random sampling method was used. Data was collected from diabetic patients of age between 30 and 70 years. Pregnant and bedridden patients are excluded from the study. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire, both web based and document based. It includes patient demographic details, co-morbidities, duration of DM, recent foot infections and awareness among them about foot care measures. The responses were analysed statistically. Result: A total of 250 diabetic patients were approached to participate in the study. Out of which 108 patients (43%) were reported to have diabetic foot ulcer. About 38% of the subjects were currently taking clinical care for foot ulcer. About 162(64%) subjects were practicing proper foot care measures and 55% of them were practicing regular foot examination. 48% of the subjects adopt massaging of the foot before going to bed, 23% adopt to wear clean socks, 18% were aware of the chappals that can be worn and 22% practice the habit of cleaning foot with lotions. Conclusion: The prevalence of diabetic foot ulcer was found to be high among elderly diabetic patients. Majority of the subjects were found to adopt self-care measures like massaging, wearing socks, cleaning foot with lotions etc. The health care providers are recommended to provide proper counselling to the patients about diabetic foot self-care measures, and importance of regular foot examination for the prevention of diabetic foot complications.

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