Perceived barriers of New Zealand podiatrists in the management of arthritis
Background Rheumatic conditions can have a significant impact on the feet and requires effective management. Podiatric involvement in the management of rheumatic conditions has previously been found to be inadequate in a hospital-setting and no study has examined current trends across New Zealand. The aim was to evaluate the perceived barriers of New Zealand podiatrists in the management of rheumatic conditions.
Methods A cross-sectional observational design using a web-based survey. The self-administered survey, comprising of thirteen questions, was made available to podiatrists currently practicing in New Zealand.
Results Fifty-six podiatrists responded and the results demonstrated poor integration of podiatrists into multidisciplinary teams caring for patients with arthritic conditions in New Zealand. Dedicated clinical sessions were seldom offered (16%) and few podiatrists reported being part of an established multidisciplinary team (16%). A poor uptake of clinical guidelines was reported (27%) with limited use of patient reported outcome measures (39%). The majority of podiatrists expressed an interest in professional development for the podiatric management of arthritic conditions (95%). All surveyed podiatrists (100%) agreed that there should be nationally developed clinical guidelines for foot care relating to arthritis.
Conclusions The results suggest that there are barriers in the involvement of podiatrists in the management of people with rheumatic conditions in New Zealand. Future studies may provide an in-depth exploration into these findings to identify and provide solutions to overcome potential barriers.