Aim: To identify the factors responsible for the low health-related quality of life associated with foot ulcers and the relative importance of these factors.
Methods: A total of 1232 patients with a new foot ulcer, who presented at one of the 14 centres in 10 European countries participating in the Eurodiale study, were included in this cross-sectional study. Patient and ulcer characteristics were obtained as well as results from the Euro-Qol-5D questionnaire, a health-related quality of life instrument with five domains (mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression). To analyse the relative importance of comorbidities and ulcer- and patient-related factors for health-related quality of life, linear regression models were used to calculate the relative contributions of each factor to the fit (R(2) ) of the model.
Results: Patients reported poor overall health-related quality of life, with problems primarily in the mobility and pain/discomfort domains. Among the comorbidities, the inability to stand or walk without help was the most important determinant of decreased health-related quality of life in all five domains. Among ulcer-related factors, ulcer size, limb-threatening ischaemia and elevated C-reactive protein concentration also had high importance in all domains. The clinical diagnosis of infection, peripheral arterial disease and polyneuropathy were only important in the pain/discomfort domain.
Conclusions: The factors that determine health-related quality of life are diverse and to an extent not disease-specific. To improve health-related quality of life, treatment should not only be focused on ulcer healing but a multifactorial approach by a specialized multidisciplinary team is also important.
© 2013 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine © 2013 Diabetes UK.