Mental Health Issues Associated with Foot Complications of Diabetes Mellitus

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Hoban, Christopher
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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease associated with severe multi-system complications including, but not exclusive to, peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, renal and cardiovascular disease. Diabetic peripheral vascular disease and neuropathy often result in foot ulcers and Charcot arthropathy that can be complicated by infection, amputation and increased morbidity and mortality. Diabetic patients, especially those with severe functional impairment, have more frequent symptoms of psychological depression then the general population, which is further increased if the patient concurrently has a diabetic foot ulcer. Currently, there is limited information available on the effect of diabetic foot complications on other mental health issues, including tlle sphere and extent of anxiety disorders, co-morbid alcohol and substance abuse disorders, suicidality, and perceived need for mental health treatment. There is also a gap in ilie knowledge on ilie physical, emotional, and psychological stress that is placed on the caregiver, frequently being spouses and extended family members, for a patient with DM and DM foot problems. Therefore, the goal of this research was to evaluate diabetic patients with and without diabetic foot problems, and caregivers of patients with diabetic foot problems. The student will use patient interviews, and a series of psychological outcomes surveys to explore the impact that this disease has on the popUlation and ilieir caregivers. The objectives for the student would be gain knowledge of evidenced based medicine, biostatistics and epidemiological skills to evaluate the impact this disease has on select patient populations.