acceptability, diabetic foot ulcer, feasibility, healing, quality of life, relaxation intervention, suitability



  1. Ferreira, Gabriela PhD
  2. Bernardo, Ana Cristina MSc
  3. Carvalho, Andre MD, PhD
  4. Pereira, M. Graca PhD


OBJECTIVE: To explore patients' and healthcare professionals' (HPs') perspectives on the suitability/acceptability of a relaxation intervention, its effects on patients' well-being and diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) healing, and its incorporation into the multidisciplinary management of patients with diabetic foot.


METHODS: This qualitative study was nested within a three-arm pilot randomized controlled trial. Patients with a chronic DFU received four relaxation sessions. Investigators then interviewed patients, physicians, and nurses involved with diabetic foot consultations. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic content analysis.


RESULTS: Five themes emerged from patient's interviews about the suitability/acceptability of the relaxation intervention: perceptions regarding the psychological intervention, distress, the relaxation technique, changes in the patient's life, and changes in DFU/contribution to healing. Three themes emerged from interviews with HPs: perceptions regarding relaxation, changes in the patient, and changes in DFU/healing. Regarding the feasibility of the relaxation intervention, three themes emerged for both patients and HPs: suggested modifications, stressors/difficulties, and impact of COVID-19 pandemic. The utility theme emerged only in HP interviews, with subthemes of patients' distress, psychological interventions, relaxation intervention, and integration of the psychologist in the team.


CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide evidence for the suitability/acceptability, feasibility, and utility of a relaxation intervention in diabetic foot consultations.