Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
CISNEROS, Ligia de Loiola and GONCALVES, Luiz Alberto Oliveira. Therapeutic education for diabetics: foot care in the reality of patients and family members. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, suppl.1, pp. 1505-1514. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000700086.
Knowing the reality of foot care practice taught in educational programs for diabetics can enhance the therapeutic education success. This study presents the perceptions of diabetics and their family members about primary cares to prevent complications on foot. A qualitative exploratory study was conducted in an intentional sample of 30 diabetic with neuropathic risk of foot injuries as well as 11 of their family members, participants of a preventive program offered in a public health center in the city of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. A semi-structured interview with open-ended questions about experiences of foot care was conducted. The material transcribed was submitted to qualitative content analyses. Patients need assistance to foot care practice. A cooperative and interactive network is formed behind patients, perceived as a support or a threat to freedom. The importance of preventive measures becomes evident from their personal experiences of a complication or those of others'. Therapeutic education to prevent diabetic foot complications must consider the relations of assistance formed around the patient. It is necessary to break the silence of the evolution of the disease in order to motivate the patient to the adoption of preventive measures.
Keywords : Health education; Diabetic foot; Qualitative research.