Problem: The absence of diabetic foot self-care is one of the major reasons for the approximately 60,000 avoidable lower extremity amputations annually in the U.S. Providers have limited time during clinic visits to educate their patients and increase awareness. Innovative strategies beyond the clinical setting are necessary to reinforce self-care behaviors. Objective: The purpose of this study was to use an innovative design method to examine the impact of providing diabetic foot care education to patients via text messaging and to assess the effect on patient self-care behaviors and clinical outcomes. Methods: Quantitative research using a single case study design. Findings: Targeted text messages improved diabetic foot self-care behaviors in both participants and resulted in a change of potentially harmful behavior. One participant increased activity as a result of the study. A lack of diabetic supplies and some confusion regarding the survey created inconclusive results for the other. Both expressed satisfaction with the use of text messaging. Implications for Nursing: Texting to help patients adopt new self-care behaviors is an effective nursing intervention and provides an opportunity to reinforce education, improve clinical outcomes, and ultimately affect quality of care. The single-case design offered the opportunity for an initial assessment of causal relationships between nursing interventions and patient response on a manageable level. Using single cases to test interventions could change the rate at which nursing science transitions ideas into evidence-based practice leading to improved processes and enhanced quality of care.

Date of publication

Spring 5-19-2014

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Nursing Commons