The effectiveness of diabetic foot-care education in a South African regional hospital: a randomised controlled trial

Keywords: knowledge of foot care, practice of foot care, self-care activities, lower limb exercises, foot-care intervention


Background and aims: Improving foot-care knowledge and practice is the foundation of curbing diabetic foot disease and subsequent amputation. This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of a foot-care education module on change in knowledge and behaviour among patients living with diabetes mellitus (DM).

Methods: A total of 120 participants with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM were recruited) from Addington Hospital Medical Outpatient Department and randomised them into three groups. A pre- and post-test questionnaire was administered to participants on recruitment and six weeks later. All groups received baseline treatment and Group 1 did not receive any further treatment. Participants in Group 2 received a foot-care handout with instructions. Group 3 received a teaching session, foot-care handout with instructions and pictures on practices as well as five lower-limb exercises. Group 2 and 3 participants were requested to follow the instructions on the handouts.

Results: Transfer of knowledge of foot care was successful and practice of foot care improved among all groups following the intervention. Groups 2 and 3 showed significant improvement in behaviour and this was highest in Group 3. Knowledge transfer of exercises was successful in Group 3.

Conclusion: A face-to-face education module improves foot-care knowledge and practice among patients with DM.

Author Biographies

Prabashni Manickum, University of KwaZulu-Natal

School of Clinical Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Thandinkosi Madiba, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Department of General Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Serela Ramklass, University of KwaZulu-Natal

School of Clinical Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Original Research