People with diabetes do not learn and recall their diabetes foot education: a cohort study

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Purpose: Diabetes education for those patients at risk of diabetes complications remains a mainstay of diabetes treatment. This study aimed primarily to determine the retention of foot health information 6 months post delivery of education. The secondary aim was to determine the type and delivery method of diabetes-specific foot health information during a podiatry consultation. Methods: This study was a prospective cohort study with two groups: patients with diabetes and their treating podiatrist. Baseline data collection included educational topics and delivery methods discussed during the consultation. The Problem Areas in Diabetes Questionnaire (PAID) and perceived key educational message were collected from each group's perspective at baseline and 6 months afterwards. Results: Three podiatrists and 24 participants with diabetes provided information at the two time points. At baseline, the key messages of 14 (58%) patient participant responses differed from their podiatrists and 15 (63%) differed 6 months later. Education covered up to seven separate topics, including neurological impact of diabetes, vascular supply and general foot care. The majority of consultations (n = 23, 96%) covered three or more topics. Conclusions: Education is vital to effective treatment of people with diabetes. Current common approaches used in individual consultations such as verbal explanations appear ineffective in aiding the learning and retention of podiatry-specific diabetes education. This study highlights the need for research investigating more effective methods to deliver key education to this population to aid retention and therefore assist behaviour change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Diabetes education
  • Education retention
  • Foot education
  • Podiatry

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