Self-Reported Quality of Life and Diabetic Foot Infections

  • Katherine M. Raspovic
    Assistant Professor, Department of Plastic Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC
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  • Dane K. Wukich
    Address correspondence to: Dane K. Wukich, MD, Division of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Roesch-Taylor Building, Suite 7300, 2100 Jane Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.
    Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Medical Director, UPMC Mercy Center for Healing and Amputation Prevention, Pittsburgh, PA
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Published:August 13, 2014DOI:


      Foot infections in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) are serious complications that can result in hospitalization, the need for amputation, and premature mortality. To the best of our knowledge, no published studies have specifically investigated the effect of diabetic foot infection (DFI) on patient quality of life. The aim of the present study was to compare the self-reported assessments of quality of life in patients hospitalized with DFIs with those from a group of patients without foot infections. We evaluated a study group of 47 patients who had been hospitalized with DFIs and a control group of 47 patients with DM who did not have any complaints referable to their foot or ankle. The self-reported outcomes were assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study short form 36-item health survey (SF-36) and the Foot and Ankle Ability Measurement. Patients hospitalized with DFIs had significantly reduced self-reported SF-36 scores in all 8 subscales compared with the cohort of patients with DM without foot complaints. The SF-36 physical component and mental component scores were significantly reduced in patients with DFIs, indicating a negative effect on overall health. Self-reported lower extremity function was also negatively affected with significantly lower Foot and Ankle Measurement activity of daily living and sports scores for patients with DFI. The present study has demonstrated the profoundly negative affect that moderate and severe DFIs have on self-reported quality of life, affecting both physical and mental well-being and lower extremity function.

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