This updated study from our long-time friend Wukich and coworkers confirms what many of our patients relate: that they fear amputation and diabetic foot infection proportionally worse than death.
To determine the degree patients with diabetic foot ulcers, Charcot neuroarthropathy and neuropathic fractures and dislocations fear complications (death, dialysis, heart attack, stroke, blindness, diabetic foot infection, minor and major lower extremity amputation [LEA]) that can occur and to assess if there is a difference between fears of patients with diabetic foot ulcers, Charcot neuroarthropathy and neuropathic fractures and dislocations and diabetic patients without these complications.
478 patients completed an eight question Likert scale survey. The study group was defined as non-infected foot ulcers, neuropathic fractures and Charcot neuroarthropathy.
Of the 478 patients, 121 (25.3 %) had diabetic foot ulcers, Charcot neuroarthropathy or neuropathic fractures and dislocations and 357 (74.7 %) did not. The study group had significantly higher odds of reporting extreme fear of foot infection (OR 2.8, 95 % CI 1.8–4.5), major LEA (OR 2.8, 95 % CI 1.8–4.4), minor LEA (OR 2.3, 95 % CI 1.5–3.5), blindness (OR 2.0, 95 % CI 1.3–3.2), dialysis (OR 2.0, 95 % CI 1.1–3.3), and death (OR 2.4, 95 % CI 1.4–4.2). In the study group highest rated fear measures were foot infection (3.71, SD 1.23), minor amputation (3.67, SD 1.45) and major amputation (3.63, SD 1.52). There were no significant differences in the mean fear of infection, minor amputation or major amputation.
Patients with diabetic foot ulcers, Charcot neuroarthropathy or neuropathic fractures and dislocations reported higher fear ratings of diabetes-related complications compared to those without these complications.
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