amputation, diabetes care, diabetic foot syndrome, hospital care



  1. Font-Jimenez, Isabel PhD, RN
  2. Acebedo-Uridales, Maria Sagrario PhD, RN
  3. Aguaron-Garcia, Maria Jesus PhD, RN
  4. De Sousa, Maria Rui PhD, RN
  5. Rubio-Rico, Lourdes PhD, RN


Background: Expert nurses must provide both physical and emotional care to patients with diabetic foot syndrome (DFS) who require an amputation. This includes helping patients and families to cope with this situation, while ensuring the maximum level of comfort.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the perspective of expert nurses on the needs and hospital care of people requiring an amputation due to DFS.


Method: This was a qualitative multicenter study involving 8 hospitals in Spain and Portugal. In-depth interviews with expert nurses were transcribed verbatim to enable content analysis.


Results: Twenty-four expert nurses were interviewed about their knowledge and experience of treating patients with diabetic foot disease. Two themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: (1) poor self-care and the disease trajectory, and (2) effective hospital care.


Conclusions: The results of this study highlight the key role that expert nurses play in the care of patients with DFS. Expert nurses considered that amputation leaves the individual physically and psychologically vulnerable, especially upon discharge from hospital. It is therefore essential to provide these patients with comprehensive and multidisciplinary care that includes emotional support.