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Associations of health literacy with risk factors for diabetic foot disease: a cross-sectional analysis of the Southern Tasmanian Health Literacy and Foot Ulcer Development in Diabetes Mellitus Study

Citation

Chen, P and Callisaya, M and Wills, K and Greenaway, T and Winzenberg, T, Associations of health literacy with risk factors for diabetic foot disease: a cross-sectional analysis of the Southern Tasmanian Health Literacy and Foot Ulcer Development in Diabetes Mellitus Study, BMJ Open, 9, (7) Article e025349. ISSN 2044-6055 (2019) [Refereed Article]


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DOI: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025349

Abstract

Objectives: Poor health literacy (HL) is associated with poorer health outcomes in diabetes but little is known about its effects on foot disease. This study was aimed to determine the associations between HL and diabetic foot disease.

Design: This is a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from a prospective study of foot disease.

Setting: Attendees of the Royal Hobart Hospital's Diabetes outpatient clinics.

Participants: 222 people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes aged >40 years and without a history of foot disease, psychotic disorders or dementia.

Measures: Outcomes were peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease and foot deformity according to published guidelines. The exposure, HL, was measured using the short form Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA) and the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ). Covariates included demographic characteristics, medical history, psychological measures and foot care behaviour.

Results: Of 222 participants, 204 had adequate HL. (Mean (SD) S-TOFHLA scores were 31.9 (6.7)), mean(SD) HLQ scores were 134.4 (18.4)). In univariable but not multivariable analyses, higher S-TOFHLA scores were associated with lower overall risk for foot disease (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.93 to 0.99) and loss of protective sensation (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.91 to 0.995).

Conclusions: These data provide little support for clinically important impacts of HL on risk factors for diabetic foot disease. However, in the absence of longitudinal data, such effects cannot be ruled out. Longitudinal studies measuring incident foot disease are needed to properly judge the potential for interventions improving HL to reduce the incidence of diabetic foot disease.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:health, literacy, diabetes, podiatry, diabetic foot, diabetic neuropathy
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Clinical Sciences
Research Field:Podiatry
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
UTAS Author:Chen, P (Miss Pamela Chen)
UTAS Author:Wills, K (Dr Karen Wills)
UTAS Author:Greenaway, T (Dr Tim Greenaway)
UTAS Author:Winzenberg, T (Professor Tania Winzenberg)
ID Code:136100
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-11-29
Last Modified:2019-12-04
Downloads:0

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