This article discusses the need for and the advantages of a dual degree program between podiatric medicine and public health. The authors expand on the existing program for public health education at the first professional degree level to include a conceptual model for a dual degree program developed at Temple University’s Department of Health Studies, through the Graduate School and the School of Podiatric Medicine. The model combines didactic and clinical education at the graduate level to ensure that clinicians involved in determining health policy are prepared to represent the profession in the restructuring of the health-care system. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(9): 488-495, 2001)
The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recognize the beneficial impact of a multidisciplinary team approach on the care of patients with critical limb ischemia, especially in the diabetic population. As a first step in identifying clinical issues and questions important to both memberships, and to work together to find solutions that will benefit the shared patient, the two organizations appointed a representative group to write a joint statement on the importance of multidisciplinary team approach to the care of the diabetic foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 309–311, 2010)
The Tacoma–Pierce County Department of Health, the Pierce County Antibiotic Resistance Task Force, and the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) designed an intervention to determine whether nail salon infection control practices could be improved by educating salon employees and their customers about good infection control practices.
Twenty intervention salons and 26 control salons completed the 3-month study. The intervention group received a letter asking them to “join our campaign to promote healthy people in healthy communities … .” Two DOL pamphlets on cleaning and disinfecting and a tent card with important infection control reminders—targeted to clients on one side and to salon workers on the other side—were also included. Outreach workers from the health department visited 25 (of the original 27) intervention salons once and talked about the materials included in the mailing. Inspection infractions were used to measure compliance with infection control practices. Each salon was inspected by the DOL at baseline, within 1 month after the educational mailing, and within 1 month after an outreach visit from the local health department.
Both groups exhibited statistically significant decreases in infractions; however, the intervention group exhibited a higher and more significant decrease in infractions than the control group.
The intervention and control groups underwent three DOL inspections, which may have resulted in a Hawthorne Effect, with both groups seeing a statistically significant decline in infractions after inspection visits. The more significant decrease in the number of infractions cited in the intervention salons may be due to the educational materials and the health education site visit they received.
Falls are common in older people and are associated with substantial health-care costs. A recent randomized controlled trial of a multifaceted podiatric medical intervention demonstrated a 36% reduction in the fall rate over 12 months. We evaluated the acceptability of and levels of satisfaction with this intervention in the older people who participated in the trial.
Participants allocated to the intervention group (which included a home-based program of foot and ankle exercises, assistance with the purchase of safe footwear when necessary, and provision of prefabricated foot orthoses) completed a structured questionnaire 6 months after they had received the intervention. The questions addressed participants’ perceptions of their balance and foot and ankle strength, the perceived difficulty of the exercise program, and the degree of satisfaction with the footwear and orthoses provided.
Of 153 participants, 134 (87.6%) attended the 6-month follow-up assessment and completed the questionnaire. Most participants perceived improvements in balance (62.7%) and foot and ankle strength (74.6%) after 6 months of performing the exercises, and 86.6% considered the difficulty level of the exercises to be “about right.” Most participants reported that they were somewhat or very satisfied with the footwear (92.3%) and orthoses (81.6%) provided.
The multifaceted podiatric medical intervention used in this trial was generally perceived to be beneficial and demonstrated high levels of satisfaction among participants. Further research is now required to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the intervention in a range of clinical practice settings. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(6): 457–464, 2013)