A randomized pilot study of improving foot care in home health patients with diabetes

Diabetes Educ. 2003 Mar-Apr;29(2):273-82. doi: 10.1177/014572170302900218.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve patients' foot care knowledge, self-efficacy, and self-care practices.

Methods: A prospective, randomized, single center, 2-group design was used with a convenience sample of 40 home care patients from a Medicare-certified home health agency. Baseline measures of foot care knowledge, self-efficacy, and reported self-care practices were obtained at study entry and 6 weeks later to control for foot care interventions provided during routine home care services. After obtaining the 6-week baseline measures, patients who were randomized to the intervention group received individualized education about proper foot care. All patients were interviewed a third time 3 months after study entry to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.

Results: The educational intervention improved patients' knowledge, confidence, and reported foot care behaviors.

Conclusions: A brief, individualized educational intervention about standard foot care topics improved patients' foot care knowledge and self-efficacy as well as reported self-care practices. Incorporating such interventions into routine home care services may enhance the quality of care and decrease the incidence of lower-extremity complications.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / rehabilitation*
  • Diabetic Foot / prevention & control*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self Care