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A survey of a footwear service for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)


Despite the DLF report ‘Footwear – a quality issue’ (1991), examples of poor usage of provided NHS footwear continue to be reported [1]. For footwear to be worn, design and fit to meet clinical needs plus the patient’s non clinical criteria have to be addressed [2]. Locally a specialist footwear service provides semi-bespoke and stock footwear to people with RA related foot pathology. Patients are fully included within decisions concerning provision. Service delivery is jointly by Shoefitter and Podiatrist.


A postal questionnaire was sent to 34 patients receiving footwear in 2009-10. Data from the 27 replies relating to the overall footwear service, quality and choice aspects to the provision, its usage and impact of provision is reported.


All were ‘very satisfied / satisfied’ with the clinic. Mean score of footwear characteristics (fitting; comfort; leather, colour, fastening and style choice) was 86.12/100. Mean footwear comfort was 8.65/10. 20 reported using footwear most/everyday. Since provision, 5 reported reduced podiatry need, 19 indicated changes in foot problems and 18 indicated improved activity participation.


Results indicate high level of satisfactions with the footwear service and suggest a positive impact on individual’s participation in activities.


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  2. 2. Williams AE, Nester CJ: Shoes in the cupboard: the fate of prescribed footwear? Prosthetics and Orthotics International 2006, 25: 53-59.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Field, R. A survey of a footwear service for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). J Foot Ankle Res 3 (Suppl 1), P9 (2010).

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