GEHWOL Diabetes Report 2023

Diabetes Report 2023

What can patients do? 

Doctors recommend specific preventative measures to their patients, such as cutting toenails straight across, applying cream to the feet and obtaining training for diabetics. Patients often receive corresponding recommendations when they visit their doctor. Nevertheless, the medical profession estimates that 41% of patients are not aware that they need to look after their feet. Many patients are also deemed to have unsatisfactory care behaviour. This is a particularly striking discrepancy compared to the self-perception of affected persons. This is because around half of all diabetics fear damage to the skin, especially on the feet, or even amputation. And those who are concerned or already affected are all the more likely to consider foot care important. 93% of patients agree with this. Paradoxically, despite all this insight, almost one in four people only look after their feet sporadically and irregularly, if at all.

Patients can easily improve their health and well-being. A simple key to this is regular dedication to your own feet: checking and applying cream daily, for example, as well as foot gymnastics. Simple measures significantly increase foot satisfaction, according to the latest GEHWOL Diabetes Report. 72% of patients with a daily care routine confirm that they are satisfied with the condition of their feet. Without a routine, this only applies to just under half of these persons.

Bild_Diabetes_Report Statistik

Economic situation influences care behaviour

For the first time, the GEHWOL Diabetes Report was also able to show an elementary connection between care behaviour and patients’ income situation. This is especially true for professional foot care. In addition to home care, podological care is also important: The majority of patients visit a podologist at least once every 3-6 months. 42% would like to go more often. However: Only a quarter of the costs are fully covered by health insurance. The rest pay for care themselves - at least in part. Accordingly, the economic situation of patients also influences their preventive care behaviour: In the lower-income group, 51% of patients do not make use of podological foot care. In the higher-income group, this proportion is only 17%. When it comes to improved prevention, 70% of doctors also see a need for action in the psychosocial situation of their patients. This statement is linked to the proposal to expand economic incentives for service providers such as podologists, orthopaedic shoe technicians and diabetes consultants.

Source: GEHWOL Diabetes Report 2023.Structured standardized written survey with n = 500 patients and n = 120 physicians. Survey and analysis by Statista. April to June 2023. 

Further illustrative results of the GEHWOL Diabetes Report can be found here: