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Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Vol. 39 No. 5, September/October 2002
Pages 609-614


Footwear used by individuals with diabetes and a history of foot ulcer
Gayle E. Reiber, MPH, PhD; Douglas G. Smith, MD; Carolyn M. Wallace, PhD; Christy A. Vath, BS;
Katrina Sullivan, DPM; Shane Hayes, CPed; Onchee Yu, MS; Don Martin, PhD; Matthew Maciejewski, PhD
Health Services and Rehabilitation Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System; Departments of Health Services, Epidemiology, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Biostatistics,
University of Washington, Seattle, WA; Joslin Diabetes Center at Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA
Abstract—Objective. To describe footwear preferences of people with diabetes and a history of foot ulcer from two large western Washington State healthcare organizations. Methods. As part of a clinical trial of footwear, self-reported information on footwear preferences, use, and cost were obtained from persons with diabetes and a prior healed foot ulcer for the year before their study enrollment. All participants’ shoes were allocated into optimal, adequate, and dangerous categories based on design, structural and safety features, and materials. Results. The 309 males and 91 females in this study averaged 62 years of age. At baseline, men owned an average of 6 (+3) pairs of shoes, with an average purchase price of $56, while women owned an average of 8 (+5) pairs, with an average purrchase price of $42. Women spent an average of 51% of their time in shoes in dangerous shoes compared to men who spent 27% of their time. Men and women spent nearly 30% of their time while out of bed in slippers, stockings, and barefoot. Conclusions. People with a history of diabetes and foot ulcers needed several styles of safe and attractive shoes for regular activities. Healthcare professionals
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