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Personal and treatment factors associated with foot self-care among veterans with diabetes.

Johnston MV, Pogach L, Rajan M, Mitchinson A, Krein SL, Bonacker K, Reiber G. Personal and treatment factors associated with foot self-care among veterans with diabetes. Journal of rehabilitation research and development. 2006 Mar 1; 43(2):227-38.

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We developed and validated a survey of foot self-care education and behaviors in 772 diabetic patients with high-risk feet at eight Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. Principal components analysis identified six subscales with satisfactory internal consistency: basic foot-care education, extended foot-care education, basic professional foot care, extended professional foot care, basic foot self-care, and extended foot self-care (alpha = 0.77-0.91). Despite high illness burden, adherence to foot self-care recommendations was less than optimal; only 32.2% of participants reported looking at the bottom of their feet daily. Independent predictors of greater adherence to basic foot self-care practices included African-American or Hispanic background, perceived neuropathy, foot ulcers in the last year, prior amputation (beta = 0.08- 0.12, p < 0.04-0.001), and provision of greater basic and extended education (beta = 0.16, p < 0.004, and beta = 0.15, p < 0.007). The survey subscales can now be used for evaluating foot care and education needs for persons with high-risk feet.

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