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Patient Impressions of Possible Catastrophic Outcomes after Diabetic Foot Ulceration

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 4 ]

Author(s):

Zachary Ashmore, Benjamin Vickers, Javier La Fontaine, Naohiro Shibuya and Daniel C. Jupiter*   Pages 376 - 388 ( 13 )

Abstract:


Background: Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and its complications are well studied; patients with diabetes may suffer from neuropathy and vascular issues, and associated with these, lower extremity ulceration. Ulcers are often refractory to treatment, and can be difficult for both patients and clinicians to manage. Such complications may lead to amputations, which in turn are a risk factor for death. However, in certain situations amputation may be the only option available, and may be used as reconstructive surgery, restoring function. The impacts of ulceration, amputation, use of prostheses, and other complications of diabetes on Quality of Life (QOL) are well studied. Similarly, the impact of QOL on overall health has been studied in some detail.

Objective: Not as well understood are patient expectations regarding amputation and ulceration, and patient knowledge of these outcomes. Specifically, it is not fully understood how patients view these complications prior to their occurrence. In this review we survey the literature for studies discussing these attitudes. Our objective was to perform a systematic review of the medical literature to understand how patients understand and anticipate the potential negative outcomes of ulceration and amputation. We also aimed to identify areas where there are gaps in patient knowledge, which could be addressed by clinicians.

Results: Our study yielded articles regarding impressions of patients with diabetes about their general health and outcomes. However, we did not discover much literature directly concerning attitudes toward catastrophic lower extremity outcomes before they occurred. We also identified that patients lack knowledge of management and complications of diabetes; both of these gaps provide an opportunity to better direct care for such patients.

Keywords:

Diabetic foot ulceration, amputation, mortality, patient attitudes, patient knowledge, quality of life, fatalism.

Affiliation:

School of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, Department of Surgery, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College of Medicine, Temple, TX, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX



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