Best Practice in the Assessment and Management of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Authors


505 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON K1H8M2 or ldemas@ottawahospital.on.ca

Abstract

Diabetes is an increasingly serious health issue in the rehabilitation population. Foot ulcers develop in approximately 15% of people with diabetes and are a preceding factor in approximately 85% of lower limb amputations. Nurses have significant opportunity to positively influence client outcomes and quality of life by promoting maintenance of healthy feet, identifying emerging problems, and supporting evidence-based self-care and interdisciplinary intervention. Best practice guidelines (BPG), such as those developed by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, provide a framework to enhance nursing practice and promote excellence in client care. This article highlights key evidence from the BPG, “Assessment and Management of Foot Ulcers for People with Diabetes,” and other relevant diabetes literature. This information better equips rehabilitation nurses to promote ulcer prevention strategies; identifies key factors in ulcer risk; and utilizes current, best evidence for ulcer assessment, management, and evaluation.

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