How Psychosocial Factors Contribute To Wear Time Of Healing Devices

How Psychosocial Factors Contribute To Wear Time Of Healing Devices

Research has uncovered why individuals aren’t using diabetes-related foot ulcers (DFUs). Findings show decreased wear time is influenced by a mix of physical and psychosocial factors such as: difficulty putting it on, weight, aesthetics, discomfort,  limitations to daily activities, culture, personal emotions, and others.

This information is important because following a prescribed treatment plan increases the chances of successfully healing DFUs — while reducing amputations and improving the lives of those affected. Without a treatment that addresses psychosocial issues related to healing devices, such as Foot Defender, wear time will continue to be affected, while complications remain commonplace.

There’s no question, offloading treatments are crucial to healing DFUs. By taking research to heart, performing rigorous engineering, and developing a beautiful, unique design — Foot Defender addresses these issues head-on.

Why are DFUs common in people living in diabetes?

Diabetes can affect every part of the body, and the feet are no exception. The longer someone has diabetes, and the more time their blood glucose is out-of-range, their risk increases for nerve damage, and for DFUs.

This is why seeking medical help early and following treatment plans from a diabetes care team, and a foot specialist, is essential. While DFUs are common, they’re potentially devastating.

Study statistics speak for themselves:

Over 50% of DFUs become infected and may result in amputation

The top reason a person with diabetes is admitted to the hospital is for complications related to a DFU

Amputation rates are increasing even with modern medical advances

Why is offloading treatment important?

Offloading boots help to remove pressure from the bottom of the foot. Increased pressure and abnormal forces delay normal wound healing. If the forces in and around a wound are not limited, wounds will not heal.

Foot Defender has solved these issues by reducing the force on the bottom of the foot up to 50% more than other available boots. But Foot Defender didn't stop there. By recognizing the psycho-social determinants of health associated with DFUs and offloading devices, experts created a boot that looks like an athletic shoe — and it’s easy to put on and take off.

While the benefits of offloading treatments are widely appreciated, this study highlights some sobering news: The majority of people with DFUs are not prescribed appropriate offloading devices. Instead, about 85% of the time, individuals are still prescribed non-offloading shoes.

What is a successful DFU treatment strategy?

With goals to improve healing times and decrease amputation rates, wear time is critical. So how do we get there? Through an understanding of the technology and physical and psychosocial limitations wear time can be improved. The process begins with a wearable healing device that people will want to use.

Stigma, or disgrace associated with DFUs, must also be part of the conversation. Study findings suggest when feelings arise about one’s condition, they can negatively affect motivation to follow a treatment plan — including the wearing of an offloading device.

Not surprisingly, the most common complaint from study participants was “dissatisfaction with the footwear exterior.” Which, taken alone, can cause increased attention and questions, and lead to feelings of embarrassment and shame.

People living with diabetes-related foot ulcers need encouragement, education, understanding, and effective, appealing equipment. With a deep understanding that functional capabilities and aesthetics matter, experts are increasing wear time when solutions address psycho-social determinants of health.

About Defender Operations

Defender products are the result of a collaboration between thousands of patients, a leading foot and ankle surgeon, world renowned footwear designer and a team of specialists. This team included material scientists engineers, manufacturing specialists, and footwear developers. All collaborating for more than five years working through research and development in search of the best materials, mechanicals and engineered parts for the Defender products.


To learn more about Defender, contact us, call +1 305-204-7203 or connect on LinkedIn

Posted by Dr. Jason Hanft

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