Psychoeducational programme helps to reduce occurrence of foot lesions by more than 60 per cent, new study shows

A psychoeducational programme was found to be ‘effective’ in supporting people with diabetes at risk of foot lesions by increasing their self-care practices.

An Italian study found that attending group sessions led by a podiatrist and an expert in psychoeducation helped participants with, or at high risk of, foot ulcer development reduce or delay the occurrence/recurrence of foot lesions by more than 60 per cent.

The team from Alma Mater University in Bologna described the programme as “feasible and effective” and said it improved people’s competency when it came to self-care.

The study saw 81 participants attend six two-hour group sessions. Occurrence/recurrence of lesions in a three-year follow-up was compared with 172 cases with similar risk score (IWGDF score 2019), receiving education at any six-month podiatric visit (standard-of-care). Self-care and competence were assessed by questionnaires.

The study reports: “The prevalence of foot lesions was higher at baseline and was remarkably reduced at any time-point in patients attending the psychoeducational programme, whereas it remained relatively stable in standard care (around 10% of cases). The cumulative incidence was lower in the psychoeducational programme (13.2, 95% CI 9.2–18.0 per 100 patient-year vs. 26.1; 95% CI 22.1–30.2); time to new lesions was increased (P = 0.022). Cox proportional hazard analysis confirmed an overall reduction of lesions in the psychoeducational programme (HR 0.34; 95% CI 0.18–0.66; P < 0.001), after adjustment for confounders. The programme was associated with significant changes in competence and motivation to self-care.”

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