Prevention and management of foot problems in diabetes: A Summary Guidance for Daily Practice 2015, based on the IWGDF guidance documents

N. C. Schaper, J. J. Van Netten*, J. Apelqvist, B. A. Lipsky, K. Bakker, IWGDF

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

75 Citations (Web of Science)


Foot problems complicating diabetes are a source of major patient suffering and societal costs. To prevent, or at least reduce, the adverse effects of foot problems in diabetes, the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF; www. iwgdf. org) was founded in 1996, consisting of experts from almost all the disciplines involved in the care of patients with diabetes and foot problems. An important output of the IWGDF is the international consensus guidance, continuously updated since 1999. To date, the publications have been translated into 26 languages, and more than 100,000 copies have been distributed globally.

The "Summary Guidance for Daily Practice" summarises the essentials of prevention and management of foot problems in persons with diabetes for clinicians who work with these patients on a daily basis. This guidance is the result of a long and careful process that started with the empaneling in 2013 of five working groups consisting of 49 international experts. These experts performed seven targeted systematic reviews to provide the evidence supporting the five chapters of the IWGDF Guidance on prevention; footwear and offloading; diagnosis, prognosis and management of peripheral artery disease; diagnosis and management of foot infections; interventions to enhance healing. In total almost 80,000 studies were detected by our literature review. After review of the title and abstract the reviewers of the different working groups selected only studies that fulfilled a minimal set of quality criteria and ended up with 429 articles for complete quality analysis. The GRADE system was used to translate the evidence from the studies into recommendations for daily clinical practice. The rating of each recommendation takes into account both the strength and the quality of the evidence. The IWGDF Guidance 2015 makes a total of 77 recommendations on prevention and management of foot problems in diabetes. These recommendations were condensed by the editorial board into this "Summary Guidance".

Encouraging and aiding clinicians to follow the evidence-based recommendations of the IWGDF Guidance 2015, and in particular the principles outlined in the "Summary Guidance", will likely result in a worldwide reduction in, and better outcomes of, foot problems in persons with diabetes, helping to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with this major health problem. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Diabetic foot
  • Guidelines
  • Guidance
  • Daily Practice
  • Implementation

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