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J Foot Ankle Res. 2010 Jul 9;3:12. doi: 10.1186/1757-1146-3-12.

The rheumatoid foot: a systematic literature review of patient-reported outcome measures.

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  • 1Directorate of Prosthetics, Orthotics and Podiatry and Centre for Rehabilitation and Human Performance Research, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, UK.



The foot is often the first area of the body to be systematically affected by rheumatoid arthritis. The multidimensional consequences of foot problems for patients can be subjectively evaluated using patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). However, there is currently no systematic review which has focused specifically upon the PROMs available for the foot with rheumatoid arthritis. The aim of this systematic review was to appraise the foot-specific PROMs available for the assessment and/or evaluation of the foot affected with rheumatoid arthritis.


A systematic search of databases was conducted according to pre-defined inclusion/exclusion criteria. PROMs identified were reviewed in terms of: conceptual bases, quality of construction, measurement aims and evidence to support their measurement properties.


A total of 11 PROMs were identified and 5 papers that provided evidence for the measurement properties of some of the PROMs. Only one of the PROMs was found to be RA disease-specific. The quality of construction, pretesting and presence of evidence for their measurement properties was found to be highly variable. Conceptual bases of many of the PROMs was either restricted or based on reductionist biomedical models. All of the PROMs were found to consist of fixed scales.


There is a need to develop an RA-disease and foot-specific PROM with a greater emphasis on a biopsychosocial conceptual basis, cognitive pre-testing methods, patient preference-based qualities and evidence to support the full complement of measurement properties.

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