Comparison of demographic and clinical characteristics influencing health-related quality of life in patients with diabetic foot ulcers and those without foot ulcers
Zahra Yekta1, Reza Pourali2, Mohammad Ghasemi-rad3
1Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, 2Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, 3Student Research Committee, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Islamic Republic of Iran
Background: A number of studies have demonstrated that health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is negatively affected by diabetic foot ulcers. The aim of this study was to compare HRQoL in diabetic patients with and without foot ulcers and to determine demographic and clinical factors influencing HRQoL.
Methods: There were no variables affecting HRQoL except for gender in diabetic patients without foot ulcers. Demographic and clinical variables were recorded and HRQoL was evaluated using the Short Form 36 (SF-36) survey for all participants. The summary physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) and eight domains of HRQoL were compared in the two groups. Linear regression analysis was also used to investigate sociodemographic and clinical characteristics as predictors of quality of life as measured by SF-36.
Results: The overall score, PCS, and MCS, were significantly higher in patients without diabetic foot ulcers. Except for gender, none of the variables affected HRQoL in diabetic patients without foot ulcers. Male gender had a higher score in all domains of quality of life than female gender in diabetic patients without foot ulcers. Living alone, a low educational level, and having at least one complication were all associated with a lower HRQoL score in patients with foot ulcers. High-grade ulcers determined by Wagner’s classification and poor glycemic control as measured by HbA1C predicted HRQoL impairment in patients with diabetic foot ulcers.
Conclusion: Because Wagner’s grade was one of the strongest variables associated with HRQoL, this scale is recommended for monitoring of patients with diabetic foot ulcers in order to prevent continuing deterioration of HRQoL by treatment of foot ulcers at an earlier stage.
Keywords: quality of life, diabetics, foot ulcer
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