Decision-making processes for non-emergency diabetes-related lower extremity amputations: A scoping review

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2023 Nov 17:206:111015. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2023.111015. Online ahead of print.


Living with a diabetes-related foot ulcer has significant lifestyle impacts. Whilst often considered a last resort, amputation can overcome the burden of ulcer management, for an improved quality of life. However, limited research has been conducted to understand how the decision to amputate is made for people with a chronic ulcer when amputation is not required as a medical emergency. Therefore, the aim was to identify and map key concepts in the literature which describe the decision-making for diabetes-related amputations. This review followed Arksey and O'Malley's PRISMA scoping review framework. Five electronic databases and grey literature were searched for papers which described clinical reasoning and/or decision-making processes for diabetes-related amputation. Data were extracted and mapped to corresponding domains of the World Health Organisation's International Classification of functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework. Ninety-four papers were included. Personal factors including emotional wellbeing, quality of life, and treatment goals are key considerations for an elective amputation. It is important to consider an individual's lifestyle and personal circumstances, as well as the pathology when deciding between amputation or conservative management. This highlights the importance of a holistic and shared decision-making process for amputation which includes assessment of a person's lifestyle and function.

Keywords: Amputation; Clinical decision-making; Diabetes; Diabetes-related foot ulcer; Scoping review.

Publication types

  • Review