Health Education Programmes to Improve Foot Self-Care Knowledge and Behaviour among Older People with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) Receiving Haemodialysis (A Systematic Review)

Healthcare (Basel). 2022 Jun 20;10(6):1143. doi: 10.3390/healthcare10061143.


Background: ESKD is a total or near-permanent failure in renal function. It is irreversible, progressive and ultimately fatal without peritoneal dialysis (PD), haemodialysis (HD) or kidney transplantation. Dialysis treatments can create new and additional problems for patients, one of which is foot amputation, as a result of non-healing wounds and vascular complications. The association between dialysis therapy and foot ulceration is linked to several factors: physical and psychological health; peripheral arterial disease (PAD); mobility; tissue oxygenation; manual dexterity; neuropathy; visual acuity; anaemia; nutrition; leg oedema; hypoalbuminemia; infection; inadequacy of dialysis; and leg/foot support during dialysis. The potential risk factors for foot ulceration may include: not routinely receiving foot care education; incorrect use of footwear; diabetes duration; neuropathy; and peripheral arterial disease.

Aim: The aim of this review is to examine the factors that help or hinder successful implementation of foot care education programmes for ESKD patients receiving haemodialysis.

Method: A comprehensive literature search was completed using five electronic databases. Medline; CINAHL; Embase; PsycINFO; and Cochrane Library. The Joanna Briggs Institute checklist (JBI) was used to quality appraise full text papers included in the review. The systematic review was not limited to specific categories of interventions to enable optimal comparison between interventions and provide a comprehensive overview of the evidence in this important field of foot care.

Results: We found no previously published studies that considered foot care education programmes for haemodialysis patients who are not diabetic; thus, the present systematic review examined four studies on diabetic patients receiving haemodialysis exposed to foot care education programmes from various types of intervention designs.

Conclusions: This systematic review has provided evidence that it is possible to influence foot care knowledge and self-care behaviours in both diabetic patients receiving haemodialysis and healthcare professionals.

Keywords: end-stage kidney disease; foot care education; foot ulceration; haemodialysis; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review

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