Influence of religion and sociocultural factors on foot self-care practices in the Gulf Countries

Factors as diverse as religion, local culture and weather can have a significant impact on patients’ health beliefs and behaviours, and, in turn, outcomes of health interventions. Patient(s) and healthcare providers’ foot care education, as well as adherence to appropriate footwear, are key elements in the prevention of diabetic foot problems as outlined in the 2015 International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot guidelines. Education should be structured, repeated and provided by individuals with good communication skills and an understanding of the patient as a whole. This article explains how sociocultural and religious beliefs and practices may act as barriers to proper foot care in patients with diabetes.