Diabetic foot problems are a significant cause of foot and limb amputation (Dorgan, Birke, Moretto, Patout, & Rehm, 1995). Because o f the devastating physical and psychological effects of amputation, aggressive treatment o f diabetic foot problems is warranted to prevent loss o f limb. Promotion o f effective coping is one successful method o f therapeutic treatment. According to nursing theorist Betty Neuman (1995), effective coping with external stressors is imperative for an individual’s health, harmony, and personal integrity. This study was conducted to describe the coping mechanisms o f older adults with diabetic foot ulcers. The research question was: "What are the coping mechanisms o f older adults with diabetic foot ulcers?" The research design was descriptive and quantitative. The sample was one of convenience selected from patients with diabetic foot ulcers at two foot care programs in a southern rural state. The sample members were at least 40 years o f age and the sample size was 16. The consenting participants answered a demographic survey and a 60-item questionnaire called the Coping Resources Inventory (CRI). The CRI gives scores based on the amounts o f coping resources indicated in five categories—cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual or philosophical, and physical resources. The collected data were analyzed with descriptive statistics using measures o f central tendency including frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation. Study findings revealed that the sample participants had above normal total coping scores. The highest scores were found in the coping cognitive resources category and the lowest scores were in the physical coping resources category. A better understanding o f the role o f coping in persons with diabetic foot ulcers will provide clinicians with more comprehensive, clinical knowledge. This understanding will allow them to initiate appropriate measures for the promotion o f coping in these persons and possibly prevent amputations or other negative results.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Dr. Lynn Chilton

Second Advisor

Dr. Bonnie Lockhard

Third Advisor

Hazel B. Lawrence

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons