BACKGROUND: People with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy often do not implement the foot-care behavioural strategies that are suggested by many health professionals. The concept of self-efficacy has been shown to be an effective predictor of behaviour in many areas of health. This study investigated the relationships between foot-care self-efficacy beliefs, self-reported foot-care behaviour and history of diabetes-related foot pathology in people with diabetes and loss of protective sensation in their feet. METHODS: Ninety-six participants were included in this cross-sectional study undertaken in a regional city of Australia. All participants had diabetes and clinically diagnosed loss of protective sensation in their feet. The participants completed a self-report pen-paper questionnaire regarding foot-care self efficacy beliefs (the "Foot Care Confidence Scale") and two aspects of actual foot-care behaviour-preventative behaviour and potentially damaging behaviour. Pearson correlation coefficients were then calculated to determine the association between foot-care self-efficacy beliefs and actual reported foot-care behaviour. Multiple analysis of variance was undertaken to compare mean self-efficacy and behaviour subscale scores for those with a history of foot pathology, and those that did not. RESULTS: A small positive correlation (r = 0.2, p = 0.05) was found between self-efficacy beliefs and preventative behaviour. There was no association between self-efficacy beliefs and potentially damaging behaviour. There was no difference in self-efficacy beliefs in people that had a history of foot pathology compared to those that did not. CONCLUSION: There is little association between foot-care self-efficacy beliefs and actual foot-care behaviour. The usefulness of measuring foot-care self-efficacy beliefs to assess actual self foot-care behaviour using currently available instruments is limited in people with diabetes and loss of protective sensation.