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Foot (Edinb). 2010 Jun-Sep;20(2-3):71-4. doi: 10.1016/j.foot.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jul 16.

Deficiencies in provision of integrated multidisciplinary podiatry care for patients with inflammatory arthritis: a UK district general hospital experience.

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  • 1Rheumatology Department, The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon, United Kingdom. mariajuarezp@gmail.com



Foot problems are highly prevalent in inflammatory arthritis (IA), especially rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Chronic inflammation can lead to permanent structural changes, deformity and disability. Early podiatry intervention in RA improves long term outcomes. National guidelines recommend that patients should be treated by a multidisciplinary team with dedicated podiatry services. In clinical practice funding constraints limit availability of these services.


To assess prevalence of foot problems and quality and availability of foot care services at a UK district general hospital.


1200 IA patients in Swindon (Wiltshire, UK) were invited to complete an anonymised questionnaire regarding access to foot care services and education/information on foot problems.


448 patients. Prevalence of foot problems: 68%. Only 31% of patients had access to appropriate foot specialist. 24% had received foot assessment within 3 months of diagnosis of IA and 17% yearly review thereafter.


Despite high prevalence of foot problems in our population we identified significant deficiencies in provision of integrated multidisciplinary podiatry care. The data we present could be used by others to support business cases to obtain funding to improve the links between rheumatology and podiatry services.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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