Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves health-related quality of life in patients with diabetes and chronic foot ulcer

Diabet Med. 2011 Feb;28(2):186-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.03185.x.


Aims: Adjunctive treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy has recently been shown to improve ulcer healing in patients with chronic diabetic foot ulcer. The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the health related quality of life in these patients.

Methods: Prospective randomized placebo-controlled double-blinded study setting using SF-36.

Results: A total of 75 patients were included in the study; 38 were randomized to hyperbaric oxygen therapy and 37 to placebo (hyperbaric air). The overall mean physical and mental summary scores for the entire study population at baseline were 29.6 ± 8.8 and 47.5 ± 12.4, respectively. There was a significant difference between baseline and 1 year follow-up responses to the mental summary score and two of the eight (SF-36) (?) domains in the -hyperbaric oxygen group, whereas no significant improvement of health related quality of life was seen in the placebo group. Comparing quality of life in patients who healed their ulcer (healers) with those who did not (non-healers), post-treatment levels of the mental health summary score, social functioning and role limitations due to physical and emotional health were significantly improved in healers. No differences were seen in any SF-36 (?) domain in non-healers.

Conclusions: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves long-term health related quality of life in patients with chronic diabetic foot ulcers, possibly attributable to better ulcer healing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Diabetic Foot / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Foot / psychology
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Placebos