The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) on individuals' lives and daily routines.
Qualitative design informed by social constructivism and symbolic interactionism frameworks.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING:
The sample comprised 30 individuals attending a wound care clinic in Southeast Ontario, Canada. Most participants (n = 17) were between the ages of 65 and 92 years, were male (n = 20), married (n = 21), living with their family (n = 23), and had completed high school (n = 26).
One-to-one semistructured interviews were conducted by the first author until saturation of each emerging theme was achieved. Interviews were audio-recorded and lasted from 45 to 90 minutes. Data collection and analysis occurred simultaneously and included intensive semistructured interviews, field notes, and researcher's journal.
Participants with DFUs were found to perceive a “sense of life change,” impacting their lives across physical, psychological, and social spheres. They reported 4 key themes indicating that DFUs were (1) limiting their outings; (2) restricting leisure activities; (3) impacting personal and social life; and (4) contributing to emotional fluctuations.
Sense of life changes resulting from DFUs were associated with participant reporting loss of freedom and enjoyment. These findings underscore the need for holistic support for patients with DFUs that simultaneously address physical, psychological, and social needs and areas of impact.