A CNS-Managed Diabetes Foot-Care Clinic: A Descriptive Survey of Characteristics and Foot-Care Behaviors of the Patient Population

WILLOUGHBY, DEBORAH PhD, RN, CS; BURROUGHS, DONNA MS, RN, CS

Patients and Clients: Editorial

Lower extremity lesions are the primary cause of hospitalization for people with diabetes, resulting in enormous personal and financial costs. This study used a survey designed to describe the characteristics and foot-care behaviors of people with diabetes who attended a clinical nurse specialist managed foot-care clinic. Forty-eight patients who received care at the participating foot-care clinic completed a 21-item multiple-choice questionnaire designed to determine the presence of foot pathology and foot-care behaviors. Most of the patients were between 65 and 74 years of age, had concurrent illnesses, and had four or more primary care visits per year. Although 69% had existing foot pathology, only 44% reported inspecting their feet daily and only 54% reported that their primary care provider examined their feet on each visit. Twenty-five percent reported going barefoot sometimes and eight percent would either treat a foot lesion themselves or wait for it to get better.

DEBORAH WILLOUGHBY is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at Clemson University. She received her PhD in nursing from Georgia State University and is certified in medical-surgical nursing Her research and clinical practice focus on health promotion for clients with chronic illness.

DONNA BURROUGHS is Clinical Manager for Outpatient Foot-Care Programs at Anderson Area Medical Center in Anderson, South Carolina She is certified in medical-surgical nursing and is a Certified Diabetes Educator. Ms Burroughs received her MS in Nursing from Clemson University and advanced foot and wound care education from the Medical University of South Carolina.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.