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Illness beliefs predict self-care behaviours in patients with diabetic foot ulcers: a prospective study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Volume106
Issue number1
DOIs
DatePublished - Oct 2014

Abstract

AIMS: Patients' illness beliefs are known to be influential determinants of self-care behaviours in many chronic conditions. In a prospective observational study we examined their role in predicting foot self-care behaviours in patients with diabetic foot ulcers.

METHODS: Patients (n=169) were recruited from outpatient podiatry clinics. Clinical and demographic factors, illness beliefs and foot self-care behaviours were assessed as baseline (week 0). Foot self-care behaviours were assessed again 6, 12 and 24 weeks later. Linear regressions examined the contribution of beliefs at baseline to subsequent foot self-care behaviours, controlling for past behaviour (i.e., foot self-care at baseline) and clinical and demographic factors that may affect foot self-care (i.e., age and ulcer size).

RESULTS: Our models accounted for between 42 and 58% of the variance in foot self-care behaviours. Even after controlling for past foot-care behaviours, age and ulcer size; patients' beliefs regarding the symptoms associated with ulceration, their understanding of ulceration and their perceived personal control over ulceration emerged as independent determinants of foot self-care.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients' beliefs are important determinants of foot-care practices. They may, therefore, also be influential in determining ulcer outcomes. Interventions aimed at modifying illness beliefs may offer a means for promoting self-care and improving ulcer outcomes.

    Research areas

  • Culture, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Diabetic Foot, Female, Health Behavior, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Self Care

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