Diabetic foot units in Spain: knowing the facts using a questionnaire.

Research paper by José Antonio JA Rubio, Javier J Aragón-Sánchez, José L JL Lázaro-Martínez, María Cruz MC Almaraz, Didac D Mauricio, Juan B JB Antolín Santos, José Ángel JÁ Díaz Pérez, Matteo M Fabbi, María Luisa ML Lozano Del Hoyo, María Pilar MP Vela,

Indexed on: 10 Nov '13Published on: 10 Nov '13Published in: Endocrinología y Nutrición


To ascertain the number of diabetic foot units (DFUs) in Spain, the specialists working in them, and the population covered by them.The Spanish Group on the Diabetic Foot (SGDF) prepared and agreed a questionnaire based on the recommendations of the 2011 International Consensus on the Diabetic Foot (ICDF). From October to December 2012, the questionnaire was sent to members of three scientific societies formed by professionals involved in the care of patients with diabetes mellitus. Population coverage of the responding centers and DFUs was estimated using the 2012 population census.Seventy five questionnaires were received, 64 of them from general hospitals, which accounted for 13% of the general hospitals of the National Health System. It was calculated that they provided coverage to 43% of the population. Thirty four centers answered that they had a DFU. Specialized diabetic foot care was only provided to 25% of the population. The number of different professionals working at diabetic foot units was 6.3±2.7. Classification of DFUs based on their complexity was as follows: 5 basic units (14.7%), 20 intermediate units (58.8%), and 9 excellence units (26.5%).The number of DFUs reported in this study in Spain is low, and allow for foot care of only one out of every four patients with diabetes. Spanish health system needs to improve diabetic foot care by creating new DFUs and improving the existing ones.