Exercise therapy helps improve glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity and may be relevant in treating patients with diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). This study describes the development of a 12-week exercise therapy program for patients with DFUs and the preliminary feasibility of the program focusing on the program's inclusion, adherence, and safety. The development process is built on knowledge from a published systematic review on exercise for people with DFUs and a grounded theory study on the main concerns of people with DFUs regarding physical activity. The development involved doctors, wound care nurses, podiatrists, and feedback from patients and physical therapists using semi-structured interviews. The program was designed as a combination of aerobic and resistance training exercises. The aerobic exercise phase on the stationary bike of 30-minute duration was aimed at a moderate intensity. Resistance exercises were conducted with a 15-repetition maximum approach (four to five sets per trial) throughout the 12-week period. Three patients were included and received the exercise intervention. Except for recruitment and retention rates, acceptance levels were met for all other research progression criteria. Patients found the intervention relevant, wanted further guidance on continuing exercising, and would have liked the intervention closer to their home for example, a municipality setting. Although the exercise therapy program for patients with DFUs was developed in a thorough process with the inclusion of available evidence and the involvement of patients and other stakeholders conclusions on feasibility are limited due to the low recruitment rate. A reconsideration of the setting is needed in future exercise intervention studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5. Jan 2023


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