Foot care data from two recent nationwide surveys. A comparative analysis

L GreenbergLBD Associates, Herndon, VA 22070.

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On the issues of incidence and prevalence: Specific Foot Problems. At the national level, ie, all respondents combined, the agreement between the NHIS and BrimmComm findings is remarkably close. Much of the difference, if not all, is believed explainable by the approximately 5% shortfall in the reported rate of problems associated with individuals who failed or refused to report their income. Where there are major differences between the NHIS and BrimmComm findings, they occur chiefly when the data are disaggregated by sex, age, or income. Technically speaking, the differences are in most cases statistically insignificant because of the generally small sample sizes associated with individual population segments in the BrimmComm survey. Injuries. Although the differences here are somewhat greater than they are for other foot problems, this may be the result of the greater emphasis being placed in the BrimmComm survey (as opposed to the NHIS) on the reporting of injuries. On the issue of utilization: Basic Treatment Patterns. Nothing in the BrimmComm data refutes the observation that podiatrists remain the provider of choice for toenail problems, corns and calluses, and bunions, and are a strong second to MDs for the treatment of foot infections. Overall Number of Visits. The BrimmComm data would indicate a total of 41.4 million visits involving patients 18 years and older in a period of 12 months. Following technical adjustments described in the text (including augmentation to include patients 17 years of age or younger), the total number of visits to podiatrists in 1990 involving civilian noninstitutionalized patients is believed to be in the vicinity of 50 million.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)