n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Knowledge and application of foot care : a study of diabetic patients in Mauritius

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Mauritius has a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus. Diabetic patients are often unaware of injuries to their feet. Early intervention is vital to prevent small injuries from turning into non-healing ulcers that could potentially result in gangrene and amputation. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge of diabetic patients in Mauritius about foot care, the prevention of foot problems and their application of foot care practices. A quantitative descriptive survey was done. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data from a convenience sample of 120 diabetic patients in five regional hospitals in Mauritius (n=120) during 2010. More than half of the respondents had not received any specific health education about foot care (62.5%; n=75). This could explain why many respondents did not adhere to basic precautions to prevent foot ulcerations such as checking water temperature, inspecting the soles of their feet, checking foot pulses and using moisturising cream. Of the respondents, 75.0% (n=90) were unaware that foot screening should be done annually while 46.7% (n=56) indicated that doctors did not inspect their feet during visits. Foot care education should be considered as an important component of diabetic health education and should be tailored according to the needs of the individual patients. It is the responsibility of all health professionals to determine whether patients understand what is being taught and to determine to what extent this knowledge is put into practice.

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