Can footwear retailers play a role in primary care prevention?
Nancarrow, S 2001, 'Can footwear retailers play a role in primary care prevention?', Australasian Journal of Podiatric Medicine, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 26-27.
The aim of this project was to investigate whether footwear retailers can play a role in the prevention of foot problems through the early identification of problems and referrals to health professionals. Footwear related injury accounts for up to one third of hospitalisations for diabetic foot disease (Payne, 1998). Footwear is a risk factor in many falls, although the exact extent of this risk is unknown (Robbins et al, 1997, Chipman, 1981, Connell and Wolf, 1997). The presence of corns or bunions has been found to be an independent risk factor for falling in older people (Dolinis et al, 1997). As poorly fitting shoes are one cause of corns, footwear could reasonably be targeted in falls prevention. Many interventions to prevent falls and foot ulcers are initiated by health service providers either after the fall has happened, or when a person attends a health service with an existing foot ulcer. The aim of the Supportive Footwear Strategy was to determine whether an education program for footwear retailers is an appropriate mechanism to trigger referrals to health professionals before serious complications arise.