Perceived Barriers to the Management of Foot Health in Patients With Rheumatic Conditions
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.