Exercise in adults admitted to hospital with diabetes-related foot ulcers: a pilot study of feasibility and safety

Emily Aitken, Jonathan Hiew, Emma J. Hamilton, Laurens Manning, Jens Carsten Ritter, Edward Raby, Paul M. Gittings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Diabetes-related foot ulcers result in significant mortality, morbidity and economic costs. Pressure offloading is important for ulcer healing, but patients with diabetes-related foot ulcers are presented with a dilemma, because whilst they are often advised to minimise standing and walking, there are also clear guidelines which encourage regular, sustained exercise for patients with diabetes. To overcome these apparently conflicting recommendations, we explored the feasibility, acceptability and safety of a tailored exercise program for adults admitted to hospital with diabetes-related foot ulcers. METHODS: Patients with diabetes-related foot ulcers were recruited from an inpatient hospital setting. Baseline demographics and ulcer characteristics were collected, and participants undertook a supervised exercise training session comprising aerobic and resistance exercises followed by prescription of a home exercise programme. Exercises were tailored to ulcer location, which complied with podiatric recommendations for pressure offloading. Feasibility and safety were assessed via recruitment rate, retention rate, adherence to inpatient and outpatient follow up, adherence to home exercise completion, and recording of adverse events. RESULTS: Twenty participants were recruited to the study. The retention rate (95%), adherence to inpatient and outpatient follow up (75%) and adherence to home exercise (50.0%) were all acceptable. No adverse events occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Targeted exercise appears safe to be undertaken by patients with diabetes-related foot ulcers during and after an acute hospital admission. Recruitment in this cohort may prove challenging, but adherence, retention and satisfaction with participation in exercise were high. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial is registered in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12622001370796).

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Pages (from-to)18
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Research
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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