↓ Skip to main content

Phototherapy for treating foot ulcers in people with diabetes

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2017
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (85th percentile)
  • Average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source

Mentioned by

21 tweeters
3 Facebook pages


5 Dimensions

Readers on

97 Mendeley
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Phototherapy for treating foot ulcers in people with diabetes
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd011979.pub2
Pubmed ID

Hong-Tao Wang, Jin-Qiu Yuan, Bin Zhang, Mao-Long Dong, Chen Mao, Dahai Hu


Foot ulcers are a disabling complication of diabetes that affect 15% to 25% of people with diabetes at some time in their lives. Phototherapy is a relatively new, non-invasive, and pain-free treatment method, which promotes the ulcer repair process through multiple mechanisms such as increased cell growth and vascular activity. Phototherapy may be used as an alternative approach for the treatment of foot ulcers in people with diabetes, but the evidence for its effect compared with placebo or other treatments has not yet been established. To assess the effects of phototherapy for the treatment of foot ulcers in people with diabetes. We searched the Cochrane Wounds Specialised Register (11 October 2016), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (the Cochrane Library, 2016, Issue 10), Ovid MEDLINE (11 October 2016), Ovid MEDLINE (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations) (11 October 2016), Ovid Embase (11 October 2016), EBSCO CINAHL Plus (11 October 2016), and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (24 June 2017). We also searched clinical trials registries for ongoing and unpublished studies on 24 June 2017, and screened reference lists to identify additional studies. We used no restrictions with respect to language, date of publication, or study setting. Randomised controlled trials or cluster randomised controlled trials that 1) compared phototherapy with sham phototherapy, no phototherapy, or other physical therapy modalities, 2) compared different forms of phototherapy, or 3) compared phototherapy of different output power, wavelength, power density, or dose range, in adults with diabetes and an open foot ulcer of any severity, in any setting. Two review authors independently performed study selection, data extraction, and 'Risk of bias' assessment. We combined the study outcomes when appropriate. Eight trials with 316 participants met the inclusion criteria. Most of the included studies were single-centre studies that were carried out in clinics or hospitals with a sample size ranging from 14 to 84. We generally considered the included studies to be at unclear or high risk of bias, as they had one domain at high risk of bias, or three or more domains at unclear risk of bias.We did not identify any studies that reported valid data for time to complete wound healing. Meta-analysis of four studies including 116 participants indicated that participants receiving phototherapy may experience a greater proportion of wounds completely healed during follow-up compared with those receiving no phototherapy/placebo (64.5% for the phototherapy group versus 37.0% for the no phototherapy/placebo group; risk ratio 1.57, 95% confidence interval 1.08 to 2.28; low-quality evidence, downgraded for study limitations and imprecision). Two studies mentioned adverse events in the results; one study with 16 participants suggested that there were no device-related adverse events, and the other study with 14 participants suggested that there was no clear difference between phototherapy and placebo group.Four studies reported change in ulcer size, but primarily due to high heterogeneity, they were not combined. Results from individual trials (including 16 participants to 84 participants) generally suggested that after two to four weeks of treatment phototherapy may result in a greater reduction in ulcer size but the quality of the evidence was low due to unclear risk of bias in the original trial and small sample size. We based the analyses for quality of life and amputations on only one study each (28 participants and 23 participants respectively); both outcomes showed no clear difference between the phototherapy group and the no phototherapy/placebo group. This systematic review of randomised trials suggested that phototherapy, when compared to no phototherapy/placebo, may increase the proportion of wounds completely healed during follow-up and may reduce wound size in people with diabetes, but there was no evidence that phototherapy improves quality of life. Due to the small sample size and methodological flaws in the original trials, the quality of the evidence was low, which reduces our confidence in these results. Large, well-designed randomised controlled trials are needed to confirm whether phototherapy could be an effective option for the treatment of foot ulcers in people with diabetes.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 21 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 97 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 97 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 20 21%
Student > Master 20 21%
Unspecified 15 15%
Other 11 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 8 8%
Other 23 24%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 39 40%
Unspecified 16 16%
Nursing and Health Professions 13 13%
Social Sciences 7 7%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 5 5%
Other 17 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 13. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 27 October 2018.
All research outputs
of 12,852,852 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 10,448 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 263,585 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 257 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,852,852 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,448 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.2. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 67% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 263,585 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 257 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 49th percentile – i.e., 49% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.