A cross-sectional analysis of podiatrist-initiated review processes after issuing prescribed foot orthoses

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Abstract

Background
Foot orthoses are widely used in clinical practice to treat foot, lower limb and back pathology. As published information guiding the clinical use of foot orthoses is scarce, the aim of this study is to profile the review processes used by practicing podiatrists after issuing an orthotic device.

Methods
A cross-sectional observational study design formed the basis for a self-administered online questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed through podiatry networks based in Australia.

Results
Two-hundred and thirty-eight practicing podiatrists participated in this study. Ninety-seven percent of respondents indicated that they would recommend a review appointment after the initial fitting of an orthotic device. Forty percent (n = 84) of respondents scheduled the first review appointment four weeks after the initial fitting, while 33% (n = 69) preferred a two-week review period. A second review consultation was standard practice for 32% (n = 68) or respondents, and were typically scheduled either two (23%, n = 12) or four (38%, n = 20) weeks after the initial review consultation. Annual review of orthotic devices was recommended by 64% (n = 123) of participants in the study, while 19% (n = 37) would suggest that yearly reviews were scheduled only if required.

Conclusions
Variation was identified in the orthotic review processes used by practicing podiatrists, although most respondents recommend a routine short-term review appointment for foot orthoses. It is not clear why practitioners adopt such varied approaches. In the absence of any clear evidence on this topic, it may be that the differing approaches to patient review reflect different philosophical perspectives regarding patient management.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0276716
Number of pages12
JournalPLoS One
Volume17
Issue number10 October
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2022

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