Much of the research into health and safety in podiatric medicine to date has focused on measuring particular hazards. This study examines legislative awareness and compliance in Irish podiatric medical practices and aspects of health and safety practice.
Podiatric physicians practicing in Ireland completed a cross-sectional questionnaire survey that included measures of health and safety knowledge and awareness, compliance with legislative requirements, perceived risks, and health status.
Of 250 podiatric physicians who were contacted, 101 completed the survey (response rate, 40%). Legislative knowledge and compliance were low among respondents. A Student t test revealed that the use of safety control measures was more frequent among podiatric physicians in practice for less than 20 years (P < .05). Musculoskeletal disorders and back injuries were the most frequently reported health concerns.
This study demonstrates the need for interventions to increase awareness of legislative requirements among podiatric physicians as a first step to increase levels of regulatory compliance.
Background: Falls in older people are a major public health problem, and there is increasing evidence that foot problems and inappropriate footwear increase the risk of falls. Several multidisciplinary prevention clinics have been established to address the problem of falls; however, the role of podiatry in these clinics has not been clearly defined. The aims of this study were to determine the level of podiatric involvement in multidisciplinary falls clinics in Australia and to describe the assessments undertaken and interventions provided by podiatrists in these settings.
Methods: A database of falls clinics was developed through consultation with departments of health in each state and territory. Clinic managers were contacted and surveyed as to whether the clinic incorporated podiatry services. If so, the podiatrists were contacted and asked to complete a brief questionnaire regarding their level of involvement and the assessment procedures and interventions offered.
Results: Of the 36 clinics contacted, 25 completed the survey. Only four of these clinics reported direct podiatric involvement. Despite the limited involvement of podiatry in these clinics, all of the clinic managers stated that they considered podiatry to have an important role to play in falls prevention. Podiatry service provision in falls clinics varied considerably in relation to eligibility criteria, assessments undertaken, and interventions provided.
Conclusions: Despite the recognition that foot problems and inappropriate footwear are risk factors for falls, podiatry currently has a relatively minor and poorly defined role in multidisciplinary falls-prevention clinics in Australia. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(5): 377–384, 2007)
This article reviews the extent of health-care students’ computer literacy and presents the results of a survey of podiatric medical students’ computer literacy. The results of this survey indicate that podiatric medical students are more likely than other health-care students to rate their computer literacy as good or very good. There was no gender difference in this self-reported computer knowledge. The implications for designing and using Web-based instructional materials and technology for podiatric medical students are discussed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(4): 375–381, 2004)
Approximately 36 million women in the United States are in the postmenopausal phase of life, creating unique challenges for the provision of compassionate, comprehensive podiatric medical treatment. Long-term estrogen deprivation arising from menopause in association with age-related factors disproportionately increases the risk of ischemic heart disease, osteoporosis, and concomitant podiatric complications. This article discusses the physiologic basis of menopause, hormone replacement therapy and its effects on osteoporosis, and other podiatric implications of menopause. Podiatric physicians caring for larger numbers of peri- and postmenopausal women must formulate a comprehensive management plan for treating fractures that arise from a combination of estrogen-deprivation osteoporosis and abnormal foot biomechanics. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(8): 437-443, 2002)
High levels of occupational stress have been reported in podiatric physicians practicing in Australia. One possible stressor is the predominance of the treatment of aged patients with chronic disease in podiatric medical practice.
Forty podiatric physicians attending a regional podiatric medical conference were invited to participate in the research using a convenience sampling method. Podiatric physicians were asked to complete a survey examining occupational stress in general and specifically in relation to practice with older adults (defined as those older than 65 years).
The survey of sources of occupational stress among podiatrists identified patient demands and expectations as the most significant stressor in general and geriatric practice for the podiatric physician. The perceived limited clinical gains and chronic nature of the conditions in older patients was also ranked highly as a stressor.
Working with the elderly is a substantial part of podiatric medical practice and, as such, needs to be seen with a more positive attitude by many practitioners. The development of geriatric practice as a speciality within the profession may help raise the value of working with the elderly. This has implications for preparing podiatric physicians for practice with the geriatric population along with the need for strategies to avoid or minimize these work stressors.
Podiatric physicians encounter many conditions, especially in sports medicine, that involve pain in the vicinity of the rearfoot or lower leg. These conditions are often associated with ankle equinus and may affect either child or adult sports participants. A review of the literature and clinical experience identify posterior night stretch splinting as an effective adjunct in the treatment of persistent symptomatic plantar fasciitis, negating the need for corticosteroid injections, further protracted pain, or surgery. This article reviews clinical cases in which night stretch splinting was used for a variety of diagnoses. Further research is needed into its efficacy for conditions other than plantar fasciitis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(7): 356-360, 2001)
Background: Silicone gel sheeting is an effective therapeutic intervention in the management of scar tissue. This pilot study was designed to examine the effect of silicone gel sheeting in preventing reulceration at former wound sites in diabetic patients.
Methods: Thirty patients with diabetes and a healed plantar neuropathic foot ulcer were enrolled and investigated in this randomized controlled trial. Participants with a newly healed ulcer were assigned to use either silicone gel sheeting or emollient cream daily for 3 months.
Results: Compared with emollient cream use, the use of silicone gel sheeting did not diminish and may have potentially increased the risk of reulceration.
Conclusions: Silicone gel sheeting does not seem to reduce the risk of reulceration in diabetic patients. The results of this trial should be viewed with caution given the small sample size. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 116–123, 2011)
Podiatric medical abnormalities are highly prevalent, yet few random population studies exist that determine the presence of pathologic abnormalities in the feet, despite their importance. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of podiatric medical abnormalities in a random sample population 40 years or older.
An observational study was conducted of a random sample population (n = 1,002) located in A Coruña, Spain. Anthropometric variables, comorbidity (Charlson score), quality of life (36-item Short-Form Health Survey), and podiatric medical examination findings were studied. A descriptive analysis and multivariate logistic regression were performed.
The most common diseases were claw toes (69.7%), hallux valgus (38%), and hallux extensus (15.8%), which increased with age and female sex. The most frequent metatarsal formula was index minus (40.9%), followed by index plus minus (35.0%). The most frequent digital formula was Egyptian foot (57.1%), followed by Greek foot (31.4%). In this study, although the presence of podiatric medical abnormalities reduced the probability of enjoying a better quality of life, it did not do so significantly. After taking into account age, sex, comorbidity, body mass index (BMI), and the presence of podiatric medical abnormalities, the variables with an independent effect that modified the physical component of quality of life were sex (female), comorbidity, and BMI.
There was a high prevalence of podiatric medical abnormalities, which increased with age and female sex. Comorbidity, BMI, and sex modified quality of life independently of podiatric medical abnormalities.
Background: This pilot study explores the influence of preadmission data on podiatric medical school performance, specifically, the role of undergraduate institutional selectivity. This type of study has never been described in the podiatric medical education literature. We conducted a longitudinal analysis of preadmission data on 459 students from the graduating classes of 2000 to 2009 at the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University.
Methods: Multivariate linear regression was used to assess the relationship between performance during the first year of podiatric medical school and a set of independent variables that represent certain preadmission student characteristics. Student demographic characteristics, such as race/ethnicity and sex, were also included in the regression analysis as control variables.
Results: The regression analysis revealed that ethnic origin, undergraduate grade point average, Medical College Admission Test biological science and verbal reasoning scores, and institutional selectivity together had a significant effect on the dependent variable (F = 18.3; P < .001). The variance for the independent variable/constant variables was 32%. Almost twice as many students were dismissed or withdrew in poor academic standing who attended undergraduate institutions in the lowest selectivity category.
Conclusions: This analysis revealed that in the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, some preadmission variables, such as institutional selectivity, undergraduate grade point average, ethnic origin, and Medical College Admission Test verbal reasoning and biological science scores, are statistically significant in predicting first-year podiatric medical school grade point average. The selectivity of a student’s undergraduate institution should be considered when screening potential podiatric medical school applicants. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(6): 479–486, 2010)
Background: Diverse theories of orthoses application have evolved with the continual development of podiatric biomechanics and orthotic management. This theoretical disparity can lead to confusion in clinical, educational, and research situations. However, although approaches are varied, the common consensus is that foot orthoses outcomes are generally positive.
Methods: Three main podiatric theories exist: the foot morphology theory, the sagittal plane facilitation theory, and tissue stress theory. By researching the available literature, the perspectives of all three theories are summarized, emphasizing areas of conflict and agreement.
Results: Through a unified theory, we introduce a premise by which the similar orthotic outcomes obtained from the three main podiatric theories may be explained.
Conclusions: It remains up to the individual podiatric physician to decide which method to use to prescribe a foot orthosis. It may be of benefit to encompass all approaches rather than be dogmatic or exclusive. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 317–325, 2009)