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Psychological and Biomechanical Aspects of Patient Adaptation to Diabetic Neuropathy and Foot Ulceration

Vileikyte, L and Crews, RT and Reeves, ND (2017) Psychological and Biomechanical Aspects of Patient Adaptation to Diabetic Neuropathy and Foot Ulceration. Current Diabetes Reports, 17 (11). ISSN 1534-4827

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Abstract

© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review was to elucidate how psychological and biomechanical factors interrelate in shaping patients’ experience with diabetic symmetric polyneuropathy (DSPN) and its sequela-diabetic foot ulceration (DFU). Recent Findings: Recent findings emphasize the importance not only of neuropathic pain but also of other DSPN symptoms, such as unsteadiness. We highlight the negative spiral between unsteadiness, falls, and psychological distress. Moreover, unsteadiness is a key determinant of non-adherence to offloading resulting in the delayed DFU healing. While depression is an established predictor of incident DFU, findings linking depression and DFU healing remain inconclusive. Examination of physical activity in DFU development and healing represents the most recent application of research to this field. Summary: Research evidence indicates that DSPN markedly impairs physical and emotional functioning and suggests that there is an unmet need for the development of multifaceted interventions that address both psychological distress and biomechanical challenges experienced by patients with this debilitating complication of diabetes.

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