Diabetes prevalence is increasing globally and Saudi Arabia is not an exception. As a result, diabetic foot complications are increasing. Such complications can be prevented by regular foot examination. We conducted this study aiming to assess the rate of physicians performing foot examination and education that is reported by diabetic patients and to explore the clinical and demographic variables that may affect physician performance in diabetic foot examination and education.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among diabetic patients at AL-Wezarat diabetic clinic, PSMMC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Data was collected through a questionnaire that was previously used in a similar study, the questionnaire was translated into Arabic validated and distributed randomly to the sample population.
Results: A total of 248 patients' medical records were analyzed, more than half (56.10%) were females, and 15.29% were smokers. Diabetic foot complications were prevalent among 76.23% of the participants, and the prevalence of foot ulcers was 7.26%. The majority of the respondents reported that their physicians examined their feet during the last year at 84.21%, and more than half (54.33%) said that the physicians examine their feet every visit. Inspection only was the most used method by 87.80%. The prevalence of diabetic foot was significantly higher among females at 61.6% compared to 38.4% among males. Similarly, the correlation was statistically significant with educational level, employment status and smoking.
Conclusion: According to the current study findings, diabetic foot examination by family physicians is considered high, as reported by diabetic patients; however, the examination was mostly by inspection rather than specific tool examination. The reasons for such findings should be addressed in future studies in order to learn the causes and put solutions in place by health care authorities in order to help prevent diabetic foot complications.