The foot-health of people with diabetes in regional and rural Australia: baseline results from an observational cohort study

Perrin, Byron M., Allen, Penny, Gardner, Marcus J., Chappell, Andrew, Phillips, Bronwyn, Massey, Claire, Skinner, Isabelle, and Skinner, Timothy C. (2019) The foot-health of people with diabetes in regional and rural Australia: baseline results from an observational cohort study. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 12. 56.

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Background: There is limited Australian epidemiological research that reports on the foot-health characteristics of people with diabetes, especially within rural and regional settings. The objective of this study was to explore the associations between demographic, socio-economic and diabetes-related variables with diabetes-related foot morbidity in people residing in regional and rural Australia.

Methods: Adults with diabetes were recruited from non-metropolitan Australian publicly-funded podiatry services. The primary variable of interest was the University of Texas diabetic foot risk classification designated to each participant at baseline. Independent risk factors for diabetes-related foot morbidity were identified using multivariable analysis.

Results: Eight-hundred and ninety-nine participants enrolled, 443 (49.3%) in Tasmania and 456 (50.7%) in Victoria. Mean age was 67 years (SD 12.7), 9.2% had type 1 diabetes, 506 (56.3%) were male, 498 (55.4%) had diabetes for longer than 10 years and 550 (61.2%) either did not know the ideal HbA1c target or reported that it was ≥7.0. A majority had peripheral neuropathy or worse foot morbidity (61.0%). Foot morbidity was associated with male sex (OR 2.42, 95% CI 1.82-3.22), duration of diabetes > 20 years (OR 3.25, 95% CI 2.22-4.75), and Tasmanian residence (OR 3.38, 95% CI 2.35-4.86).

Conclusions: A high proportion of the regional Australian clinical population with diabetes seen by the publicly-funded podiatric services in this study were at high risk of future limb threatening foot morbidity, and participants residing in Northern Tasmania are more likely to have worse diabetes-related foot morbidity than those from regional Victoria. Service models should be reviewed to ensure that diabetes-related foot services are appropriately developed and resourced to deliver interdisciplinary evidence-based care.

Item ID: 61640
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1757-1146
Keywords: Australia, diabetes, diabetic foot, models of care, podiatry
Copyright Information: © 2019 The Author(s).
Date Deposited: 04 May 2020 23:17
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 100%
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Last 12 Months: 56
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