knowledge about foot care among diabetes mellitus (dm) patients contributes to avoid future complications. a quasi-experimental study undertaken at health centers in san luís potosí, mexico, aimed at describing the sociodemographic and clinical profile of dm patients and their foot care habits before and after an educative intervention, based on participatory and traditional communication. the study was developed in two groups. the experimental group participated in the foot care education program using participatory communication, while the control group used the traditional communication method. for data collection, interviews were held at three different times: before the start, at the end of the program and six months after the end of the intervention. most subjects were female, with a mean age of 52 years, had not finished primary education and, besides dm, suffered from arterial hypertension. as regards foot care habits, statistical tests showed a significant difference (p <0.001) between the first and second measure, which may be due to the effect of the course and the better results achieved through the education program that used participatory communication. thus, it was concluded that the effect of the educative intervention based on participatory communication entailed positive changes in the diabetic patients' foot care, and also favored learning and the choice of care conducts.