Effectiveness of educational interventions for diabetes-related foot disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Aaron Drovandi, Leonard Seng, Jonathan Golledge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This systematic review and meta-analysis pooled evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on the effectiveness of educational programs for people with or at risk of diabetes-related foot disease (DFD). A systematic search identified RCTs evaluating the effectiveness of educational programs in preventing or managing DFD. The primary outcome was risk of developing a foot ulcer. Secondary outcomes included any amputation, mortality, changes in cardiovascular risk factors, foot-care knowledge and self-care behaviours. Meta-analyses were performed using random effects models. Risk of bias was assessed using Cochrane's ROB-2 tool. Education programs were tested in 29 RCTs (n = 3891) and reduced risk of a foot ulcer by approximately half although the upper 95% confidence interval (CI) reached 1.00 (odds ratio [OR], OR 0.54; 95% CI 0.29, 1.00, I2 = 65%). Education programs reduced risk of any amputation (OR 0.34; 95% CI 0.13, 0.88, I2 = 38%) and HbA1c levels (standardized mean difference −0.73; 95% CI −1.26, −0.20, I2 = 93%) without affecting all-cause mortality (OR 1.09; 95% CI 0.57, 2.07, I2 = 0%). Education programs mostly significantly improved DFD knowledge (13 of 16 trials) and self-care behaviour scores (19 of 20 trials). Only one trial was deemed at low risk of bias. Previously tested education programs have mostly effectively improved participants' knowledge and self-care behaviours and reduced risk of foot ulceration and amputation. Larger high quality trials with longer follow-up are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • amputation
  • foot ulcer
  • glycated haemoglobin
  • patient education
  • quality of life


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