The FOOTSTEP self-management foot care programme: Are rheumatoid arthritis patients physically able to participate?
Semple R, Newcombe LW, Finlayson GL, Hutchison CR, Forlow JH, Woodburn J
Musculoskeletal Care. 2008 Sep 17. [Epub ahead of print]
Background: The FOOTSTEP self-management foot care programme is a clinical and cost-effective programme for basic foot care in the elderly. The aim of this study was to determine if patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) would be physically able to participate.
Methods: A consecutive cohort of RA patients undergoing podiatry care underwent tests for sight, reach and grip strength to determine their physical ability to undertake self-managed foot care.
Results: Thirty RA patients (10 male, 20 female), with a median age of 61 years (range 42 to 84) and disease duration of 10 years (range one to 40), were recruited. All patients passed the sight test, whereas the reach and grip tests were passed by 77% and 67% of patients, respectively. Only 57% of patients passed all the physical tests. Patients who failed the physical tests were older, and had longer disease duration and higher physical disability, pain and general health scores but these were not statistically different.
Conclusions: Just over half the patients in this present cohort may be physically able to undertake some aspects of self-managed foot care, including nail clipping and filing, callus filing and daily hygiene and inspection