Development and evaluation of a leaflet containing shoe advice: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Background.

Providing advice to wear good quality shoes with appropriate fit is one of the possibilities GPs have when treating patients with foot problems.

Objectives.

The aims of this study are to (i) determine which shoe characteristics are important when providing shoe advice; (ii) develop a shoe advice leaflet and (iii) evaluate if women choose better shoes with the aid of the leaflet.

Methods.

We performed a literature search on the effect of separate shoe characteristics on foot pathologies and kinematics and developed an information leaflet with the aid of multidisciplinary experts. The leaflet was tested in a group of women aged 50 years or over who did not receive podiatric treatment or shoe advice in the year prior to the study. The women were asked to select shoes; half of them were provided with the leaflet. Shoe characteristics were scored blinded for the condition by two podiatrists. Data were analysed using a t-test for independent measures.

Results.

The developed leaflet contains nine shoe characteristics. A total of 57 women ranging from 54 to 86 years old (average 69) consented to participate in testing the efficacy of the leaflet. Women using the leaflet (n = 29) selected better shoes than without (P = 0.049).

Conclusions.

Based on a literature search and expert opinion, we have developed an information leaflet for GPs to provide as a supplement to oral shoe advice. Women using this leaflet were able to select shoes of better quality and better fit than women selecting shoes without using the leaflet.

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