Introduction: Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU), one of the complications of Diabetes Mellitus (DM), is the most common reason for the hospitalization of diabetic patients and leads to extremity amputations and increase in mortality. DFU brings an additional physical and emotional burden to the patients and affects their quality of life (QoL) negatively. This study was organized with the aim of comparing the anxiety, depression and QoL levels of DFU patients with diabetic patients without DFU due to the limited number of the studies investigating the QoL and mental health of DFU patients.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and thirty-three patients followed up in the X University Faculty of Medicine Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Department and volunteered to participate in this cross-sectional study. Besides sociodemographic information, anxiety and depression levels were assessed by Hospital Anxiety Depression (HAD) Scale and QoL was measured by Short Form 36 (SF-36).
Results: Among the 133 DM patients with a median age of 60 years, 83 patients were in the DFU group. Mean age (p= 0.006, t= -2.813) and male prevalence (p= 0.0002, χ²= 13.824) were higher in the DFU group. Only physical functioning scores were lower in the DFU group (p= 0.002, Z=-3.04) while comparing SF-36 and HAD scores between the two groups. All SF-36 subscale scores of both diabetic groups were lower than the Turkish normative values (p< 0.0001).
Conclusion: Finding worse QoL in the aspect of physical functioning among DFU patients reveals the necessity of interventions that will
improve the DFU patients’ QoL by increasing their physical functioning, besides medical and surgical treatments for foot ulcers. In our
study, it was found that all diabetic patients had lower QoL than the normal population. This finding emphasizes the need for taking
steps to improve the QoL of patients with DM and especially DFU.