A new study has found some interesting reasons why our patient’s with diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) are adherent or non-adherent to their DFU self-care at home.
The study – led by DFA 2019 Keynote Speaker A/Prof Jaap van Netten – extensively interviewed a selection of 11 Aussie patients with DFU about how they care for their ulcer away from the clinic, and what barriers and solutions they find when performing their self-care.
Common barriers identified by patients were: poor ability to see their ulcer, difficulty applying dressings, difficulty wearing offloading devices and frustrations with slow healing progress.
On the flip side, common solutions identified by patients for those barriers were: integrating DFU self-care into their daily routine, better education and resources to help perform their DFU self-care, better access to help from carers and different strategies to help see if their ulcer is healing or not
The authors recommend that much more research is needed into patient adherence if we are to improve our patients’ DFU outcomes.
But, in the meantime, they suggest clinicians could start by finding out more about their patient’s self-care situation, such as can they see their DFUs progress, their social and carer situation, and their challenges with dressings or offloading. They then suggest clinicians talk with their patients about potential practical solutions that may help their self-care at home, and in turn their healing outcomes.
And if you want to know much, much more about ways to engage our patients in their care, then register superfast for DFA 2019 as Prof van Netten, Prof James Charles and Dr Pam Chen will be talking about just this and much more in The Patient Adherence Session at DFA 2019.