This study evaluated the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two different types of foot orthoses used to treat plantar heel pain. Forty-eight patients were randomly assigned to receive either a functional or an accommodative orthosis. General (EuroQol) and specific (Foot Health Status Questionnaire) health-status measures were used. Data were also collected using economic questionnaires relating to National Health Service costs for podia-try, other health-service costs, and patient costs. Data were measured at baseline and at 4- and 8-week intervals. Thirty-five patients completed the study. The results demonstrated a significant decrease in foot pain and a significant increase in foot function with the functional foot orthoses over the 8-week trial. The accommodative foot orthoses demonstrated a significant reduction in foot pain only at 4 weeks. The cost-effectiveness analysis demonstrated that functional orthoses, although initially more expensive, result in a better quality of life. Use of functional orthoses resulted in an increased cost of £17.99 ($32.74) per patient, leading to an incremental cost per quality-adjusted life year of £1,650 ($3,003) for functional orthoses. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(3): 229–238, 2004)
Corresponding author: Keith Rome, PhD, DPodM, Teesside Centre for Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health and Social Care, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough TS1 3BA, England.