Assessing Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Diabetic Foot Disease: Why Is It Important and How Can We Improve? The 2017 Roger E. Pecoraro Award Lecture

Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) have become an important subject in the area of diabetes-related foot complications. Self-reported health-related quality of life (HRQOL) surveys can provide a generic measure of overall health (global) and can be disease specific (i.e., diabetes) or even region specific (i.e., lower-extremity function). Analysis of PRO measures utilizing validated instruments allows health care providers to determine whether medical and surgical treatments are providing patients with the highest level of outcome possible and are actually improving HRQOL. The 36-item Short Form (SF-36), EuroQol five-dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L), and Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM) are examples of commonly used HRQOL surveys. Low HRQOL has been associated with higher rates of hospital admission and mortality in patients with diabetes. Previous studies have demonstrated that patients with diabetes-related foot disease have low self-reported physical quality of life but do not typically report low mental quality of life. The impact of mental quality of life may be underestimated in these patients using the SF-36. In this article, we will discuss several widely used outcome instruments used to measure patient HRQOL and the impact of diabetic foot disease on HRQOL. As health care providers, we must continue to adjust and modify our treatments to achieve the best patient outcomes and associated high quality of life. Assessing PROs will become increasingly important as health care systems transition from a volume-based reimbursement model to a value-based model.

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