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Open Access Research

Foot health education for people with rheumatoid arthritis — some patient perspectives

Andrea S Graham12*, Alison Hammond1, Steven Walmsley1 and Anita E Williams12

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Health, Sport and Rehabilitation Research, University of Salford, Frederick Road, Salford, UK

2 Directorate of Prosthetics, Orthotics and Podiatry, University of Salford, Frederick Road, Salford, UK

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Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2012, 5:23  doi:10.1186/1757-1146-5-23

Published: 31 August 2012

Abstract

Background

Patient education is an important component of foot health management for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The content and strategies for delivery require investigation in relation to the patients’ needs. This study explores patients’ experiences of foot health education, to inform how the patients’ needs could be identified in clinical practice and inform effective education delivery.

Method

A focus group was used to collect data. The dialogue was recorded digitally, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a structured thematic approach. Member checking and peer review added to credibility of the data.

Six themes emerged; (i) content and purpose of patient education – what it should be, (ii) content of patient education – what it should not be, (iii) timing of information on foot health, (iv) method of delivery, (v) ability to engage with foot health education and (vi) the patient/practitioner relationship.

Conclusions

This study identified aspects of patient education considered important by this group of patients in relation to content, timing and delivery, forming the basis for further research on clinical and patient focussed outcomes of patient education.

Identifying health education needs and provision of supportive verbal and written information can foster an effective therapeutic relationship, supporting effective foot health education for people with RA.

Keywords:
Podiatry; Patient; Foot health education; Rheumatoid arthritis