Original Research

Knowledge of and attitude to foot care amongst Type 2 diabetes patients attending a university-based primary care clinic in Nigeria

Rabi I. Ekore, Ikeoluwapo O. Ajayi, Ayo Arije, John O. Ekore
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 2, No 1 | a175 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v2i1.175 | © 2010 Rabi I. Ekore, Ikeoluwapo O. Ajayi, Ayo Arije, John O. Ekore | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2010 | Published: 29 October 2010

About the author(s)

Rabi I. Ekore, University Health Service (Jaja Clinic), University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Ikeoluwapo O. Ajayi, Dept of Epidemiology, Medical Statistics and Environmental Health, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Ayo Arije, Department of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
John O. Ekore, Dept. of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: Individuals living with diabetes mellitus are at an increased risk of developing foot ulcers and cardiovascular complications or a neuropathy that may result in amputations. These complications have been shown to be already present in about 10% of diabetic patients at the time of diagnosis.

Objectives: This study was carried out to determine the level of awareness and attitude to foot care among adult diabetic patients attending a university health centre (i.e. a primary care centre) and to emphasise the ever-present need for health education and promotion and early complication detection (especially of foot problems) among diabetic patients.

Method: A descriptive cross-sectional, clinic-based study was carried out at the University of Ibadan Health Centre (Jaja Clinic). The study population consisted of consenting adult diabetic patients. Data were collected by the self-administration of structured questionnaires to eligible subjects and were analysed using the SPSS v.15software. Appropriate statistics were employed to analyse the collected data.

Results: A total of 137 patients participated in the study and ranged in age from 37 to 75 years, with the mean ± SD age being 58.2 ± 9.2 years. Of the participants, 98 (71.5%) were men and 39 (28.5%)were women; all of the participants were married. The duration of illness ranged from 1 year to 20 years, with the median duration of illness being 3 ± 1.7 years. One hundred and twenty-six (92%)patients had never received any education on foot care from their healthcare providers, while 11(8%) had received some form of foot care education. Among those who had never received any foot care education, 92 (73%) had been diabetic for 1–5 years, while the remaining 34 (27%) had been diabetic for 6 – 20 years. Of the foot care measures that were known, 35 (25.5%) patients knew to wash their feet daily and dry in between the toes thoroughly, 31 (22.6%) knew not to go outdoors barefooted, 27 (19.7%) checked their feet daily, 27 (19.7%) checked inside their shoes daily, 8 (5.8%)consciously made an effort to avoid injuries to their feet and 4 (2.9%) clipped their toenails with care.

Conclusion: The results of this study showed that awareness of foot care measures is very poor amongst known diabetic patients and this is largely due to a lack of education of the patients by their health care providers.


Keywords

attitude; diabetic foot care; education; knowledge; Type 2 diabetes mellitus

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