Dr. Jinsup Song is a graduate of a dual degree (D.P.M., Ph.D.) program and is an Assistant Professor at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. His long-term goal is to develop an independent career combining clinical research with clinical medicine. The candidate has been pursuing his interest in foot-type biomechanics, footwear design, and other conservative interventions ultimately to reduce diabetic foot complications. Over time, Dr. Song recognized the inadequacy of the current diabetic foot care education. The proposed career development plan incorporates a multi-disciplinary program designed to provide a closely-mentored, patient-oriented research experience along with a customized, didactic curriculum selected from epidemiology, biostatistics, and behavioral medicine. Under the mentorship of Gary Foster, Ph.D., and Guenther Boden, M.D., the candidate will examine the utility of a novel diabetic foot education strategy. The study will include 200 high-risk diabetic subjects from the Foot and Ankle Institute and Temple University Health Care System in the greater Philadelphia area. All subjects will receive a conventional foot care education and plantar pressure measurements at baseline. However, subjects randomized to the test group will receive additional diabetic foot education, using their personal, computer-animated, multicolored, plantar pressure maps. A presentation of aberrant barefoot plantar pressure and how that pressure is alleviated with proper shoes is postulated to motivate high-risk diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy to take a more active role in caring for their feet. All participants will be monitored prospectively for a year along with quarterly palliative foot care and customary diabetic shoes. If the proposed visual diabetic foot education yields a more effective strategy, the subjects in the test group, as compared to the control group, are anticipated to show (1) better personal daily foot care, (2) greater understanding of peripheral neuropathy, (3) fewer foot complications, and (4) greater reductions in peak dynamic plantar pressure at follow up visits. The proposed diabetic foot education has a great potential to be an effective educational tool especially for those underserved minority communities, where health literacy is often a major challenge.
Effective diabetic foot care education is critical in reducing lower limb amputations. This study examines if a new foot care education, based on viewing of personal foot pressure maps, enhances patient education and reduces foot complications in high risk diabetic subjects.