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Open Access Research

Patient expectations of podiatric surgery in the United Kingdom

Antony N Wilkinson1 and Anthony J Maher2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Podiatric Surgery, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cantley Health Centre, Middleham Road, Cantley Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN4 6ED, UK

2 Department of Podiatric Surgery, Park House Health and Social Care Centre, 61 Burton Road, Carlton, Nottingham, NG4 3DQ, UK

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Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2011, 4:27  doi:10.1186/1757-1146-4-27

Published: 6 December 2011

Abstract

Background

Patient expectations can be difficult to conceptualise and are liable to change with time, health and environmental factors. Patient expectation is known to influence satisfaction, however little is known about the expectations of patients attending for podiatric surgery. This paper will explore the expectations of a large cohort of patients undergoing elective foot surgery.

Methods

The UK based podiatric audit of surgery and clinical outcome measurement (PASCOM) audit system was applied to a consecutive cohort of patients undergoing elective podiatric surgery in Doncaster, South Yorkshire between 2004 and 2010. Data was collected relating to the surgical episode and patient expectations. A patient questionnaire was administered at 6 months post intervention.

Results

A total of 2910 unique surgical admissions were completed and satisfaction questionnaires were returned by 1869 patients. A total of 1430 patients answered question 1 which relates to patient expectations. Pain relief was the most frequent expectation with 1191 counts (52.3%), while footwear and mobility accounted for 16.6% and 16.4% respectively. Cosmesis counts occurred less commonly; 12.2%. 709 patients (49.6%) stated only a single expectation, 599 patients (41.9%) stated two expectations, 114 patients (8%) stated three expectations and 7 patients (0.5%) stated 4 expectations. Pain relief was the dominant expectation accounting for 515 counts (72.6%) of patients who provided only one response.

Conclusions

This paper demonstrates the expectations of a large cohort of podiatric surgery patients. For the most part patients expect pain relief, improved mobility and improved shoe fitting, while a small number of patients also expect a cosmetic improvement. Further research is required to determine the relationship between patient expectation and health related quality of life, and to determine whether podiatric surgery is successful in addressing the expectations of patients.