New Australian guidelines for diabetes-related foot disease

Pete Lazzarini diabetes related foot disease

Prof. Stephen Twigg, University of Sydney and A/Prof. Pete Lazzarini, AusHSI, QUT.

New Australian guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes-related foot disease have been published for the first time since 2011.

The new official national evidence-based guidelines were led by Diabetes Feet Australia and have been endorsed by ten national peak bodies and published as a summary in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Associate Professor Peter Lazzarini, Conjoint Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI), QUT and Queensland Health, Co-Chaired the development of the guidelines with Professor Stephen Twigg from the University of Sydney. At least 30 papers from A/Prof. Lazzarini and his team on their research into the prevention and management of diabetes-related foot disease were cited and used to inform recommendations across the suite of six new national guidelines.

Diabetes-related foot disease includes foot ulcers, infections, and ischaemia in people with diabetes and is a leading cause of hospitalisation, amputation, and disability in Australia, costing around $1.6 billion each year. Implementing guideline-based care has been found to prevent up to half of these hospitalisations, amputations and costs across the country.

“We want to get the awareness out, but we’re quite conscious that we want to make these (guidelines) as practical as possible to use, that they don’t sit on shelves, so we’ve tried to develop a whole range of implementation tools to make it easier for clinicians to implement in practice.” said A/Prof. Peter Lazzarini in MJA Podcast Episode 32.

“What we’ve also done, in addition to the recommendations, is distil this into a toolkit with various pathways so that clinicians can use these recommendations with their patients sitting in front of them.”

These are the first new Australian guidelines published in over a decade for diabetes-related foot disease and serve as the new national standards for multi-disciplinary healthcare providers across the country. The guidelines were developed by 30 national experts in the field from 7 different clinical disciplines who systematically adapted the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot Guidelines (IWGDF) to the Australian context.

In all, 98 evidence-based recommendations were developed on prevention, classification, peripheral artery disease, infection, pressure offloading and wound healing interventions. Additionally, considerations on how to implement and monitor each recommendation in the Australian context (including specifically for geographically remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples), plus future research priorities for the field were outlined.

Read the suite of Australian evidence-based guidelines for diabetes-related foot disease.

Media contact
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation: Sian Conway Lamb, 07 3138 6087,