Poor Footwear Ups Impairment, Disability in Chronic Gout

Comfort, fit, support, and cost influence footwear choice in patients with chronic gout

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Use of poor footwear is common among patients with chronic gout, and is associated with foot-related disability and impairment, according to a study published online Oct. 3 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Keith Rome, Ph.D., from the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and colleagues investigated the footwear characteristics, key factors influencing footwear choice, and the correlation between footwear characteristics and foot disability in 50 patients with a history of acute gout. The clinical characteristics, global function, footwear suitability (based on predetermined criteria), foot impairment, and disability measures were assessed.

The investigators found moderate to severe foot pain, impairment, and disability in the participants. Poor cushioning, lack of support, lack of stability and motion control were identified as characteristics of poor footwear. More than 50 percent of shoes had excessive wear patterns, and were 12 or more months old. Important factors influencing patients' choice of footwear were comfort, fit, support, and cost. There was no association between footwear characteristics (length and width) and foot characteristics (foot pain, impairment and disability). Foot-related impairment and disability were higher in patients with poor footwear.

"Based upon the current findings, we suggest that footwear should be considered in the management plan of patients with gout. Future research should be focused on assessing the role of competitively priced footwear with adequate cushioning, motion control and sufficient width at the forefoot," the authors write.

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