-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The healing of
diabetes-related foot ulcers is affected by patients' coping styles
and their levels of depression, new research shows.
The study included 93 diabetic patients with foot ulcers who
were monitored for 24 weeks. The size of each patient's ulcer was
measured at the start of the study, and again at six, 12 and 24
weeks. The researchers also assessed the participants' levels of
psychological distress, coping styles and levels of the stress
The likelihood that the ulcer would heal over the 24 weeks was
predicted by how an individual dealt with the situation, the study
authors found. The ulcer was less likely to be healed in patients
who had a "confrontational" method of coping (characterized by a
desire to take control) with the ulcer and its treatment.
"My colleagues and I believe that this confrontational approach may, inadvertently, be unhelpful in this context because these ulcers take a long time to heal. As a result, individuals with confrontational coping may experience distress and frustration because their attempts to take control do not result in rapid improvements," Kavita Vedhara, of the University of Nottingham in England, said in a university news release.
The researchers also found that depression appeared to have a
major effect. Patients with depression showed less ulcer
improvement or healing by the end of the 24 weeks, according to the
report published in the August issue of the journal
The findings have led to a follow-up project to develop
psychological treatments to reduce depression in patients with
diabetic foot ulcers and help them cope more effectively with the
Up to 15 percent of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes
develop foot or leg ulcers, which are open sores that form when a
minor skin injury fails to heal.
The American Diabetes Association offers advice about
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