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Foot Orthosis Prescription Habits of Australian and New Zealand Podiatric Physicians

Karl Landorf Lecturer, School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Campbelltown Campus, Bld 24, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith DC, New South Wales 1797, Australia.

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 DipAppSc(Pod), GradDipEd
Anne-Maree Keenan Senior Lecturer, School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Campbelltown Campus, University of Western Sydney.

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 BAppSc(Pod), MAppSc
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R. Louise Rushworth Fellow, Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine; Senior Lecturer, College of Social and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney.

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This research project investigated the orthotic prescription habits of podiatric physicians in Australia and New Zealand. A 23-item questionnaire was distributed to all members of the Australian Podiatry Association and the New Zealand Society of Podiatrists. When asked what type of foot orthoses they prescribe most often, 72% of respondents reported functional foot orthoses; the next most common response was prefabricated orthoses (12%). A typical prescription for functional foot orthoses consisted of a modified Root style orthosis, balanced to the neutral calcaneal stance position, with the shell made from polypropylene and an ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) rearfoot post applied. The majority of podiatric physicians surveyed used a commercial orthotic laboratory to fabricate their orthoses. However, New Zealand respondents were three times more likely to prescribe prefabricated foot orthoses, and males were twice as likely as females to manufacture the orthoses themselves rather than use a commercial orthotic laboratory. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(4): 174-183, 2001)