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Therapeutic foot health education for people with rheumatoid arthritis : a narrative review

Graham, A; Hammond, A; Williams, AE


A Graham

AE Williams


Purpose: Foot health interventions such as foot orthoses for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) reduce pain, improve function and improve overall quality of life. Additionally, patient education (PE) is considered essential in achieving good outcomes with interventions such as foot orthoses, footwear and self-care. The aim of this literature review was to identify evidence in relation to the content, use and delivery of PE in the management of RA foot problems.
Methods: An electronic search of the following databases was performed: PubMed, CINAHL, AMED, Medline and the Cochrane Library, between March 2000 and March 2010. In order to be included, studies had to be published in English, involve adults (>18 years) with RA, and assist in answering the research question. No publications regarding PE for the management of foot health-related problems in RA were found. However, other key terms emerged that embraced PE for people with RA and informed a further search. Thirty-two papers met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed with regard to the subject area, content of the paper, methodological issues and their key findings.
Results: The present review provides evidence for the effectiveness of PE for people with RA delivered via a staged approach, with the content and timing of education provision being driven by the needs of the patient.
Conclusions: the effect of PE delivered from a podiatric context needs to be explored, and the nature and requirements of PE for individuals with RA-related foot problems from a patient and practitioner perspective requires investigation. Alternative and innovative ways of providing PE and, potentially, self-management need to be investigated and defined.


Graham, A., Hammond, A., & Williams, A. (2011). Therapeutic foot health education for people with rheumatoid arthritis : a narrative review. Musculoskeletal Care, 9(3), 141-151.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2011
Deposit Date Sep 19, 2011
Journal Musculoskeletal Care
Print ISSN 1478-2189
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 3
Pages 141-151
Keywords Patient education, rheumatoid arthritis, podiatry, foot health
Publisher URL