The needs of patients with diabetes for the prevention and treatment of foot complications in Thailand: A qualitative descriptive study


diabetic foot
focus groups
patient needs

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Kanan, P., Siribamrungwong, B., Tarawanich, T., Arapinth, S., & Napunnaphat, P. (2023). The needs of patients with diabetes for the prevention and treatment of foot complications in Thailand: A qualitative descriptive study. Belitung Nursing Journal, 9(6), 586–594.
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  • Thammasat University
    Grant numbers Faculty of Nursing, Thammasat University Research Fund, Contract No. 1/2562
Accepted for publication: 2023-11-25
Peer reviewed: Yes

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Background: Inadequate diabetes self-management leads to foot infections and lower extremity amputations. Effective self-care, supported by nurse-provided information, is crucial, particularly in foot care. However, the current approach in Thailand focuses more on what nurses want patients to know rather than addressing patients’ actual needs. Consequently, nurses might misunderstand their patients' perspectives. Hence, nurses need to grasp patients’ needs for successful foot care behavior.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the needs of patients with diabetes regarding the prevention and treatment of foot complications.

Methods: The study employed a qualitative descriptive design. Thirty participants classified as high risk for foot ulcers were purposively selected from Thailand's university hospitals. Focus group discussions were used for data collection between June and July 2021. Verbatim transcription and content analysis were carried out for data analysis.

Results: Four emergent themes highlighted patients’ needs: 1) information-giving, 2) proactive foot screening with foot-care affirmation, 3) foot care services, and 4) relieving foot burdens and limb loss.

Conclusion: Nurses should change their mindset to care for and continually understand patients' needs. This involves adapting educational strategies like the teach-back method and coaching while providing skill training. Offering diverse service platforms, both online and onsite education programs and counseling, is essential. Additionally, ensuring accessibility and affordability, such as establishing after-hours clinics and supplying foot care toolkits, remains crucial.

Supporting Agencies

This research was supported by the Faculty of Nursing, Thammasat University Research Fund, Contract No. 1/2562.


Copyright (c) 2023 Piyawan Kanan, Boonying Siribamrungwong, Thipapron Tarawanich, Saritpat Arapinth, Phunyada Napunnaphat

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Declaration of Conflicting Interest

The authors declared that there is no conflict of interest.


The authors sincerely appreciated all the participants for the input they provided for this study.

Authors’ Contributions

Each author contributed equally to the conceptualization, design, data collection, and analysis. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and approved the final draft. All authors met the ICMJE authorship criteria.

Data Availability

The data in this study are available from the corresponding author upon a reasonable request.

Declaration of Use of AI in Scientific Writing

Generative AI was not used in the writing process.


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