Aim: To evaluate the role of preventative strategies in reducing foot ulcers in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, both in the general population and those identified to be at a raised risk.
Method: A systematic review of interventions to prevent diabetic foot ulcers.
Results: Available studies are generally unsatisfactory in their ability to answer the important questions relating to prevention. However, where people with diabetes receive well-organized and regular care with rapid referral to appropriate specialist multidisciplinary teams when problems (or their precursors) occur, ulcer morbidity can be substantially reduced.
Conclusion: Foot ulcers are common in people with diabetes and are costly in terms of both patient morbidity and the use of healthcare resources. Although it is nearly a decade since the St Vincent Declaration called for a marked reduction in morbidity to be achieved through better patient management, available evidence suggests that the process of care in Britain is still very variable in quality. Foot care for people with diabetes must be organized to provide monitoring, education and referral in a manner acceptable to patients and realistic for local healthcare providers.