Original Research

Awareness of diabetic foot disease amongst patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus attending the chronic outpatients department at a regional hospital in Durban, South Africa

Thea T. Goie, Mergan Naidoo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 8, No 1 | a1170 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v8i1.1170 | © 2016 Thea T. Goie, Mergan Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 February 2016 | Published: 17 November 2016

About the author(s)

Thea T. Goie, Discipline of Family Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Mergan Naidoo, Discipline of Family Medicine, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Diabetic foot disease (DFD) is a major challenge for the healthcare system, with enormous economic consequences for people living with diabetes, their families, and society, affecting both quality of life and quality of care. The study aim was to assess the level of awareness of DFD amongst patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods: An observational descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at the chronic outpatients department of a regional hospital in Durban, South Africa.
Results: Two hundred participants with T2DM participated in the study. Ninety-one per cent of participants were either overweight or obese. Ninety-two per cent of participants had concomitant hypertension (57.5%), dyslipidaemia (26.7%) and eye disease (7.2%). Seventy-six per cent reported altered sensation in their lower limbs, and 90% reported having no previous DFD education. Only 22.2% of participants reported having examined their feet, but only when they experienced a problem. Participants achieved mediocre scores for knowledge (mean 4.45, standard deviation (s.d.) 2.201, confidence interval (CI) 4.2–4.7) and practice (mean 11.09, s.d. 2.233, CI 10.8–11.5) on diabetic foot care (DFC). Those who had a higher level of education and who were less than 65 years old had a significantly better score for previous foot care education (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The study demonstrated that awareness of DFD was suboptimal, based on current DFC guidelines. To minimise the burden of DFD, improved screening and prevention programmes as well as patient education should be provided to T2DM patients, whilst maintaining an aggressive approach to risk factor modifications, footwear and identifying the at-risk foot.

Keywords

Diabetic foot disease; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; awareness

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