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Characterizing palliative care needs in people with or at risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers.

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Mendonça, Liliane 
Antunes, Bárbara 
Rigor, Joana 
Martins-Mendes, Daniela 
Monteiro-Soares, Matilde  ORCID logo


AIMS: Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) have a significant impact on a patient's quality of life and life expectancy, with mortality rates comparable with malignant diseases. However, there is a lack of data regarding palliative care needs in this population. We aimed to characterize palliative care needs in people under diabetic foot surveillance using the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale (IPOS) and EuroQol-5D three-level version (EQ-5D-3L) and to assess differences between those with and without a DFU. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study with consecutive sampling inclusion of patients followed in a tertiary hospital's Diabetic Foot Clinic between February and October 2019 with (n = 20) and without (n = 42) active DFU. RESULTS: The most frequent symptoms encountered were pain, weakness or lack of energy, sore or dry mouth and drowsiness. Patients with an active DFU were significantly more likely to report feeling anxious or worried in comparison with those without (95% versus 55%, p = 0.002). Only 10% of the participants with an active DFU said that they were always able to share how they felt with family and friends as much as they wanted in comparison with 45% of those without (p = 0.006). CONCLUSION: Our study identified palliative care needs in patients under diabetic foot surveillance with and without DFU, including a significant presence of physical symptoms. Patients in both groups showed signs of emotional/psychological distress, with a higher manifestation in patients with DFU. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study addressing and characterizing palliative care needs in this population.


Peer reviewed: True


Recent challenges and future opportunities in caring for patients with diabetic foot disease, cohort analysis, chronic illness, diabetes, diabetic foot, Palliative care, wound care

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Ther Adv Endocrinol Metab

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SAGE Publications
Fundação para a ciência e tecnologia (PD/0003/2013)
Fundação para a ciência e tecnologia (PD/BD/113664/2015)
Programme Grants for Applied Research (Applied Research Collaboration East of England (AR)
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (RISE - LA/P/0053/2020)
Sociedade Portuguesa de Diabetologia (Bolsa Luís Marques 2018)