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


Perrin, BM and Allen, P and Gardner, MJ and Chappell, A and Phillips, B and Massey, C and Skinner, I and Skinner, TC, 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 Article 56. ISSN 1757-1146 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/s13047-019-0366-6


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 1.823.22), duration of diabetes > 20 years (OR 3.25, 95% CI 2.224.75), 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 publiclyfunded 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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:podiatry, diabetes, models of care, diabetic foot, Australia, rural
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Allied health and rehabilitation science
Research Field:Podiatry
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Allen, P (Dr Penny Allen)
ID Code:136547
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Rural Clinical School
Deposited On:2020-01-07
Last Modified:2020-04-09
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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