Poster (15A112)

The Impact of Foot Problems in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Author(s)

Maeve Boyle, Michelle McHenry

Department(s)/Institutions

Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast

Introduction

Foot problems in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are extremely common, estimates range from 32% to 75% (1) However, in busy outpatient clinics foot problems are often neglected and some secondary care centres do not have access to a foot care service. According to NICE guidelines all patients with RA and foot problems should be reviewed by podiatry (2).

Aims/Background

To assess the prevalence and severity of foot problems in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis attending routine Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic in the Royal Victoria Hospital over a 3 week period.

Method

Patients with RA completed an anonymous questionnaire of 61 questions, assessing the type and severity of foot symptoms, taken from the Salford Rheumatoid Arthritis Foot Evaluation Tool (3).

Results

46 patient questionnaires completed. The results show the high proportion of patients with RA who experience foot pain. They also highlight specific problems such walking difficulty, low mood, a feeling of being restricted in activities and hobbies, self-consciousness about their feet and an overall large impact on their quality of life.

Conclusions

Recent years have seen major improvements in treatment of RA, with the ability to achieve early and sustained disease control in the majority of patients. However, foot problems continue to have a significant impact on many patients’ quality of life. There is a large variation in the standard of foot care received by patients and many have an unmet need for podiatry input. These results highlight the need for closer attention to foot problems when reviewing patients and the need a foot care service in secondary care for patients with RA.

References

1. Otter SJ1, Lucas K, Springett K et al. Foot pain in rheumatoid arthritis prevalence, risk factors and management: an epidemiological study. Clinical Rheumatology. 2010 Mar;29(3):255-71.

2. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Rheumatoid arthritis: the management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Clinical Guideline 79. London: NICE; 2009. Reviewed March 2015.

3. Walmsley (2010). Development of a Patient Reported Outcome Measure for the Assessment and Evaluation of the Foot Affected by RA. PhD Thesis, University of Salford.