Assessment of Knowledge of Foot Care among Diabetic Patients: A Community-Based Study in South Kerala

Rahul S Pillai, Joe Abraham, Jithin Khader

Abstract


Background: Diabetes mellitus has risen to the proportion of epidemics and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in India. The treatment of diabetic foot ulcer is labor intensive as well as cost intensive. Foot care has not got the importance it deserves. Many diabetic patients realize the importance and need for foot care only after the development of an ulcer. As patient education is a very important aspect for prevention of diabetic foot ulcer, the assessment of patient’s understanding or their knowledge about foot care is very important. The main objective of this study was to measure the knowledge level among diabetic patients about diabetic foot care. Objective: This study was done to assess the knowledge of foot care and its association with different sociodemographic variables among diabetic patients in the field practice area of an urban health center of a tertiary care hospital in south Kerala. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among the diabetic patients in the field practice area of an urban health center of a tertiary care hospital in south Kerala for a duration of 3 months from 2019 March to 2019 May. They were interviewed with a questionnaire that consisted of questions to assess the knowledge regarding foot care. One mark was awarded for each positive response with the maximum achievable score as 15. The knowledge of the subjects were classified as good, satisfactory, and poor depending on the score. Analysis was done using SPSS version 21. Association tested using Chi-square test for categorical variables and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A total of 90 patients were included in this study with a mean age of 55.26 years (range 29–78) with 57 patients (63.3%) older than 50 years. There were 37 male (41.1%) and 53 female (58.9%) patients. Most patients had diabetes for less than or equal to 10 years (53.5%). About 17.8% of the study participants had good knowledge score, 41.1% had Satisfactory score, and 41.1% had poor score. Knowledge regarding foot care is significantly associated with the education level of the study subjects (P = 0.034) and socioeconomic status of the study subjects (P = 0.042). Conclusion: Majority of the diabetic patients had either poor or satisfactory knowledge of foot care. This emphasizes the need for more intensive programs to educate diabetic patients on their foot care. Low education and lower socioeconomic class are associated with poor knowledge scores. This calls for the need of their educational and overall socioeconomical upliftment.

Key words: Awareness, diabetic patients, foot care, knowledge


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