The Tacoma–Pierce County Department of Health, the Pierce County Antibiotic Resistance Task Force, and the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) designed an intervention to determine whether nail salon infection control practices could be improved by educating salon employees and their customers about good infection control practices.
Twenty intervention salons and 26 control salons completed the 3-month study. The intervention group received a letter asking them to “join our campaign to promote healthy people in healthy communities … .” Two DOL pamphlets on cleaning and disinfecting and a tent card with important infection control reminders—targeted to clients on one side and to salon workers on the other side—were also included. Outreach workers from the health department visited 25 (of the original 27) intervention salons once and talked about the materials included in the mailing. Inspection infractions were used to measure compliance with infection control practices. Each salon was inspected by the DOL at baseline, within 1 month after the educational mailing, and within 1 month after an outreach visit from the local health department.
Both groups exhibited statistically significant decreases in infractions; however, the intervention group exhibited a higher and more significant decrease in infractions than the control group.
The intervention and control groups underwent three DOL inspections, which may have resulted in a Hawthorne Effect, with both groups seeing a statistically significant decline in infractions after inspection visits. The more significant decrease in the number of infractions cited in the intervention salons may be due to the educational materials and the health education site visit they received.
Background: Older people have multiple foot health problems; therefore, nursing staff need to pay attention to the foot care of older people, especially in long-term care and nursing homes. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge of nursing staff (n = 16) regarding foot care, their foot-care activities, and the health of residents’ (n = 43) feet in a nursing home before and after an intervention (educational program).
Methods: Nursing staff in a nursing home received a foot-care educational program that consisted of lectures and demonstrations.
Results: After the intervention, nursing staff knowledge of foot care and foot-care activities had partially improved, which was mainly seen in residents’ skin health.
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that an educational program can change nursing staff knowledge of foot care and their foot-care activities. However, the educational program tested in this study needs further development. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 159–166, 2011)
BACKGROUND: Diabetic Foot Osteomyelitis (DFO) is a common infection where treatment involves multiple services including Infectious Disease (ID), Podiatry, and Pathology. Despite its ubiquity in the hospital, consensus on much of its management is lacking. METHODS: Representatives from ID, Podiatry, and Pathology interested in quality improvement (QI) developed multidisciplinary institutional recommendations culminating in an educational intervention describing optimal diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to DFO. Knowledge acquisition was assessed by pre- and post-intervention surveys. Inpatients with forefoot DFO were retrospectively reviewed pre- and post- intervention to assess frequency of recommended diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers, including appropriate definition of surgical bone margins, definitive histopathology reports, and unnecessary intravenous antibiotics or prolonged antibiotic courses. RESULTS: A post-intervention survey revealed significant improvements in knowledge of antibiotic treatment duration and the role of oral antibiotics in managing DFO. There were 104 consecutive patients in the pre-intervention cohort (4/1/2018-4/1/2019) and 32 patients in the post-intervention cohort (11/5/2019-03/01/2020), the latter truncated by changes in hospital practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-categorizable or equivocal pathology reports decreased from pre-intervention to post-intervention (27.0% vs 3.3%, respectively, P=0.006). We observed non-significant improvement in correct bone margin definition (74.0% vs 87.5%, p=0.11), unnecessary PICC line placement (18.3% vs 9.4%, p=0.23), and unnecessary prolonged antibiotics (21.9% vs 5.0%, p=0.10). Additionally, by working as an interdisciplinary group, many solvable misunderstandings were identified, and processes were adjusted to improve the quality of care provided to these patients. CONCLUSIONS: This QI initiative regarding management of DFO led to improved provider knowledge and collaborative competency between these three departments, improvements in definitive pathology reports, and non-significant improvement in several other clinical endpoints. Creating collaborative competency may be an effective local strategy to improve knowledge of diabetic foot infection and may generalize to other common multidisciplinary conditions.
This study sought to identify the nature and extent of diabetes-related knowledge and self-care practices in people living with type 2 diabetes who attend primary-care clinics and to determine whether a correlation between the two exists.
In a nonexperimental prospective study, the Diabetes Knowledge Questionnaire and the Summary of Diabetes Self-care Activities were used to assess knowledge and self-management in 50 patients.
The mean diabetes knowledge score was 14.40 out of a total of 24 and the mean self-care activities score was 2.89 out of a total of 7, indicating a deficit in a number of key areas in the management of diabetes. There was no statistically significant correlation between diabetes knowledge score and diabetes self-care activities (r = 0.190, P = 0.187). On analysis of the individual subscales, a significant relationship resulted between diabetes knowledge score and diet (r = 0.324, P = 0.022) but physical activity (r = 0.179, P = 0.214), blood sugar testing (r = 0.231, P = 0.107) and footcare (r = 0.189, P = 0.189) gave no significant results. On further analysis, education level was significantly correlated to diabetes knowledge score (r = 0.374, P = 0.007) and self-care activities score (r = 0.317, P = 0.025) while age was significantly correlated to diabetes knowledge score (P = 0.008) and self-care activities score (P = 0.035).
Integrating theories of behavior change into educational interventions at the primary-care level may translate to improved care, reduced long-term complications, and better quality of life.
A prospective, randomized study was conducted to determine the effect of biofeedback-assisted relaxation training on foot ulcer healing. For patients with chronic nonhealing foot ulcers, medical care was combined with a standardized biofeedback-assisted relaxation training program in the experimental group. The intervention was designed to increase peripheral perfusion, thereby promoting healing. A total of 32 patients with chronic nonhealing ulcers participated in the study. In the experimental group, 14 out of 16 ulcers (87.5%) healed, as compared with 7 out of 16 ulcers (43.8%) in the control group. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(3): 132-141, 2001)
An essential skill for podiatrists is conservative sharp debridement of foot callus. Poor technique can result in lacerations, infections and possible amputation. This pilot trial explored whether adding simulation training to a traditional podiatry clinical placement improved podiatry student skills and confidence in conservative sharp debridement, compared with traditional clinical placement alone.
Twenty-nine podiatry students were allocated randomly to either a control group or an intervention group on day 1 of their clinical placement. On day 4, the intervention group (n = 15) received a 2-hour simulation workshop using a medical foot-care model, and the control group (n = 14) received a 2-hour workshop on compression therapy. Both groups continued to learn debridement skills as opportunities arose while on clinical placement. The participants' debridement skills were rated by an assessor blinded to group allocation on day 1 and day 8 of their clinical placement. Participants also rated their confidence in conservative sharp debridement using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using logistic regression (skills) and analysis of covariance (confidence), with baseline scores as a covariate.
At day 8, analysis showed that those in the intervention group were 16 times more likely to be assessed as competent (95% confidence interval, 1.6–167.4) in their debridement skills and reported increased confidence in their skills (mean difference, 3.2 units; 95% confidence interval, 0.5–5.9) compared with those in the control group.
This preliminary evidence suggests that incorporating simulation into traditional podiatry clinical placements may improve student skills and confidence with conservative sharp debridement.
Diabetes is a major chronic disease with high morbidity and mortality. Diabetic preventive care services are essential in the management and outcome of the disease. More than other preventive diabetic care services, preventive care of diabetic retinopathy has been emphasized and recommended by practitioners and insurance companies. We investigated the status of preventive care in the diabetic population.
Information was collected from 420 outpatients aged 30 to 80 years. The patients were divided into two groups: those with well-controlled blood sugar levels (hemoglobin A1c [HbA1c] level ≤7%) and those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels (HbA1c level >7%).
Data analysis indicated that for both groups, 93% of the participants were seen for diabetic eye care at least once and 78% were getting an annual eye examination regularly. In the controlled and uncontrolled blood sugar groups, 26% and 32% of patients, respectively, had ever seen a nephrologist and 38% and 49%, respectively, had ever seen a cardiologist. In the controlled and uncontrolled blood sugar groups, 32% and 38% of patients, respectively, had visited a podiatric physician. For statistical analysis and comparison of results between the two groups, we applied the χ2 test and calculated 95% confidence intervals. There were some significant differences regarding the complications of diabetes mellitus and preventive care.
There is a need for greater engagement by podiatric physicians and health-care providers to promote regular visits for the diabetic population to podiatric medical clinics.
In 2007, the treatment of diabetes and its complications in the United States generated at least $116 billion in direct costs; at least 33% of these costs were linked to the treatment of foot ulcers. Although the team approach to diabetic foot problems is effective in preventing lower-extremity amputations, the costs associated with implementing a diabetic-foot–care team are not well understood. An analysis of these costs provides the basis for this report.
Diabetic foot problems impose a major economic burden, and costs increase disproportionately to the severity of the condition. Compared with diabetic patients without foot ulcers, the cost of care for those with foot ulcers is 5.4 times higher in the year after the first ulcer episode and 2.8 times higher in the second year. Costs for treating the highest-grade ulcers are 8 times higher than are those for treating low-grade ulcers. Patients with diabetic foot ulcers require more frequent emergency department visits and are more commonly admitted to the hospital, requiring longer lengths of stay. Implementation of the team approach to manage diabetic foot ulcers in a given region or health-care system has been reported to reduce long-term amputation rates 62% to 82%. Limb salvage efforts may include aggressive therapy such as revascularization procedures and advanced wound-healing modalities. Although these procedures are costly, the team approach gradually leads to improved screening and prevention programs and earlier interventions and, thus, seems to reduce long-term costs.
To date, aggressive limb preservation management for patients with diabetic foot ulcers has not usually been paired with adequate reimbursement. It is essential to direct efforts in patient-caregiver education to allow early recognition and management of all diabetic foot problems and to build integrated pathways of care that facilitate timely access to limb salvage procedures. Increasing evidence suggests that the costs of implementing diabetic foot teams can be offset in the long term by improved access to care and reductions in foot complications and amputation rates. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 335–341, 2010)
Foot self-care is key in preventing morbidity in high-risk diabetic patients. Motivational interviewing (MI) is an approach to encourage behavior change by patients that can be used in medical settings. The goal was to explore how podiatric physicians promote self-care in such patients and whether they use MI techniques.
We conducted a 19-question online survey of US-based practicing podiatric physicians. Most answers were on a 5-point scale. The MI index was the sum of answers to five relevant questions.
Of 843 podiatric physicians, 86% considered foot self-care to be very important for high-risk diabetic patients, and 90% felt that it was their role to discuss foot self-care with them; 49% felt that they had training and were successful in promoting behavior change, but most were definitely (38%) or possibly (46%) interested in learning more. Only 24% of respondents scored at least 15 of 20 on the MI index. Higher MI scores were associated with more face time and more time discussing foot self-care but were not related to podiatric physicians' age, sex, geographic location, percentage of time in surgery, or years in practice. Reported barriers to counseling were lack of reimbursed time and poor patient engagement.
Most podiatric physicians view self-care behavior among high-risk diabetic patients and their role in promoting it as very important; most feel already proficient, but only a few demonstrate MI skills; most are willing to learn more. Success in behavioral counseling, such as MI, is likely to require more time and may be encouraged by a move from fee-for-service to outcome-based reimbursement.
Foot ulceration and lower-extremity amputation are devastating end-stage complications of diabetes. Despite agreement that diabetic foot self-care is a key factor in prevention of ulcers and amputation, there has only been limited success in influencing these behaviors among patients with diabetes. While most efforts have focused on increasing patient knowledge, knowledge and behavior are poorly correlated. Knowledge is necessary but rarely sufficient for behavior change. A key determinant to adherence to self-care behavior is clinician counseling style. Podiatrists are the ideal providers to engage in a brief behavioral intervention with a patient. Motivational interviewing is a well-accepted, evidence-based teachable approach that enhances self-efficacy and increases intrinsic motivation for change and adherence to treatment. This article summarizes some key strategies that can be employed by podiatrists to improve foot self-care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 78–84, 2011)