Encouraging reduction of activity amongst patients with diabetic foot ulcers.
Background: Recommendations published by the international working group of the diabetic foot (2015) advise that patients should limit standing and walking to facilitate optimal wound healing. Aims: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of wearing a pedometer to record step counts and daily walking patterns. To examine the relationship between step count and wound healing. Methods: Ten attendees of the diabetic foot clinic at Royal Derby Hospital were invited to use a pedometer (Omron HJ-203) for a 4-week period. Results: The majority of participants (n=9) wore the pedometer on a daily basis. A weak negative correlation was found between wound size reduction and mean daily step count (Spearman's rank -0.057, p=0.0091). Reduced wound size was associated with smaller variations in daily step count (<6.75 fold). Conclusions: The pedometer was acceptable to participants and feasible to use as demonstrated by high uptake in daily use. Strategies may be needed to help achieve and sustain reductions in walking behaviour over time and in the context of competing health beliefs and the demands of work and family life.
- Specialist Medicine