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01-12-2020 | Research | Uitgave 1/2020 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2020

Podiatrists’ views of assessment and management of pain in diabetes-related foot ulcers: a focus group study

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2020
Nicoletta Frescos, Bev Copnell
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Contrary to the belief that patients with diabetes-related foot ulcers (DRFU) do not experience wound related pain due to the presence of peripheral neuropathy there is increasing evidence that pain can be present. Subsequently, wound-related pain is often underestimated and undertreated. The aim of this study is to describe what influences pain assessment of DRFU.


A qualitative exploratory study was conducted with podiatrists who managed DRFU. Eight podiatrists were recruited through a professional organisation to participate in a focus group. A thematic analysis was conducted to identify themes that explored the barriers and enablers to pain assessment and management of DRFU.


Three themes emerged. Observational and non-verbal cues were the preferred approaches used to assess wound pain. Assumptions and value judgments of the pain patients experienced and the relationships between podiatrists, patients and other health care practitioners were important influencers on the assessment and management of pain.


The perceived barriers to the assessment and management of wound related pain in DRFU were attitudes and beliefs about pain, lack of DRFU-specific validated assessment tools and lack of knowledge and skills to manage the pain.

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