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Foot health and self-care activities of older people in home care.
Stolt M, Suhonen R, Puukka P, Viitanen M, Voutilainen P, Leino-Kilpi H. J Clin Nurs. 2012 Jul 27
Aims and objectives. To assess the foot health of older people and their self-care activities in home care. The ultimate goal is to prevent foot problems in older people and to develop the assessment skills of nurses working in home care. Background. Foot health problems are one reason why older people seek home care services. These problems are prevalent in older people, and they can impair performance of daily activities and threaten functional ability. However, studies in this field have concentrated on foot problems related to specific diseases. Non-disease-related research on foot health from the preventative perspective is lacking.
Design. A descriptive explorative design was used.
Methods. The foot health of older people was assessed by visiting home nurses with the Foot Health Assessment Instrument, and older people's foot self-care activities were evaluated with the Foot Self-Care Activities Structured Interview in 2010. The data were analysed statistically.
Results. Older people in home care have multiple foot health problems. The most prevalent problems were oedema, dry skin, thickened and discoloured toenails and hallux valgus. Caring for one's feet was a problem for many older people.
Conclusions. Older people's foot health needs to be assessed regularly to recognise foot health and self-care problems. Health care professionals have a vital role in preventing, recognising and caring for foot health in older people. Relevance to clinical practice. The foot health of older people needs to be improved by supporting older people in foot self-care and developing preventive nursing interventions. Regular foot health assessments and their documentation are crucial in preventing serious foot problems in older people. Moreover, multiprofessional collaboration is important to promote foot health in older people.
Re: Foot health and self-care activities of older people in home care
Perhaps if they had spent the time it took to do the research running 'call in for nail cutting and foot care advice' clinics, then a number of patients (remember them?) might have benefitted? Just a thought?