The effectiveness of foot care educational interventions for people living with diabetes mellitus: an umbrella review

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Diabetes Mellitus is a public health problem becoming more prevalent. Diabetic foot is a debilitating condition caused by diabetes mellitus. Diabetic foot, which includes foot ulceration, infection, and destruction of tissues may necessitate amputation.

The aim of this review is to derive evidence from existing systematic reviews and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of foot care educational interventions, directly aimed at people living with diabetes.

A systematic search was implemented using biomedical citation databases including Embase, CINAHL, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO. Major repositories of systematic reviews such as the JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the PROSPERO register were also searched. The search also included a grey literature search and manual searches of reference lists contained within review studies and other relevant published reviews. The umbrella review searched for articles published from January 2016 to 2021 to ensure sources were current and reflected the most recent interventions.

This umbrella review is the first to collect and summarise the evidence from existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses of foot care educational interventions directly aimed at people living with diabetes. It reports findings from nine systematic reviews on the evaluation of foot care educational interventions. The number of studies included in each review ranged from 6 to 81. A total of 314 primary studies were included. After examining the overlap between studies reported in multiple reviews, 82 were included in the final review. Without providing effective and consistent preventive and prophylactic foot care, creating, and testing interventions, integrating the concept into practice will remain challenging.

Currently, most educational foot care intervention programmes concentrate on a single intervention. However, there is insufficient evidence that a single educational intervention effectively reduces the occurrence of ulcers and amputations or improves patients’ knowledge and behaviour. Two studies used complex interventions, and they reduced the incidence amputation and foot ulceration incidence for people living with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-416
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Tissue Viability
Issue number3
Early online date20 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Foot amputation
  • Umbrella review
  • Systematic review
  • Diabetic
  • Foot problems
  • Diabetic foot ulcer
  • Diabetes mellites
  • Foot ulceration
  • Foot care education

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