Usability of Different Methods to Assess and Improve Adherence to Therapeutic Footwear in Persons with the Diabetic Foot in Remission. A Systematic Review

Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2023 Aug 7:15347346231190680. doi: 10.1177/15347346231190680. Online ahead of print.


Therapeutic footwear (TF) has been demonstrated to decrease the rate of recurrence in patients in remission. TF adherence determines the real effect of such treatment and, therefore, an appropriate evaluation of TF adherence is critical to decrease recurrence. The aim of this systematic review was to determine the usability of different methods of assessing adherence to TF in patients with diabetic foot ulcers under remission. The search strategy retrieved 506 articles. Title and abstract review excluded 472, while the full-text review excluded an additional 18 articles because the included data did not meet the selection criteria. Finally, we included 16 articles in this systematic review. Six (37.5%) of the 16 studies combined objective (OM) and subjective methods (SM). Only five (31.25%) evaluated OM and six (37.5%) studies only evaluated SM. Objective methods (temperature sensor, activity monitor) and subjective methods (survey, questionnaire) have successfully been used in the literature to evaluate TF adherence. Objective methods provided accurate data, whereas subjective methods led to response bias or missing data. Methods of evaluation showed that patients use the TF more frequently outdoors and on weekdays than indoors or on the weekend. In conclusion, objective methods are the most usable way to measure adherence to TF.

Keywords: adherence; diabetic foot; recurrence; therapeutic footwear.

Publication types

  • Review