Background: Diabetic foot ulcers cause major treatment morbidity and cost of care. This study evaluated quality of life in patients with unhealed and healed diabetic foot ulcers. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of adult diabetic patients (age 45 years or older) treated in a tertiary care foot clinic who had foot ulcers within the preceding 2 years. Patients with other diabetic complications or conditions that would potentially affect quality of life were excluded. Two patient groups of comparable age, gender distribution, and duration of diabetes were studied: 57 patients with unhealed ulcers (minimum duration, 6 months) and 47 patients with healed ulcers. Telephone interviews were done using the Short Form 12 (SF-12) (both groups) and a Cardiff Wound Impact Scale (CWIS) (unhealed ulcer group). Results: The mean SF-12 Physical Component Summary score was significantly lower for the group with unhealed ulcers (unhealed, 35 ± 8 points; healed, 39 ± 10 points; p = 0.04); these scores for both groups were significantly lower than published Short Form 36 (SF-36) scores for general, diabetic, and hypertensive populations. The mean SF-12 Mental Component Summary scores of the groups did not differ significantly from each other or from published population scores. CWIS responses showed that patients with unhealed ulcers were frustrated with healing and had anxiety about the wounds, resulting in marked negative impact on the average Well-being Component Score (35 ± 6 points). Conclusions: Individuals with diabetic foot ulcers experience profound compromise of physical quality of life, which is worse in those with unhealed ulcers.
- Diabetes Mellitus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine