Steps towards evidence-based foot-care for children: behaviour and opinions of health professionals
journal contributionposted on 2021-01-17, 21:55 authored by L Hodgson, AE Williams, Christopher Nester, SC Morrison
© 2020 The Authors. Health and Social Care in the Community published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd Allied health professionals (AHPs) working with children need the appropriate knowledge, skills and experiences to provide high-quality care. This includes using research to drive improvements in care and ensuring that knowledge and practices are consistent and build upon the best available evidence. The aim of this work was to understand more about the shared behaviours and opinions of health professionals supporting children's foot health care; how they find information that is both relevant to their clinical practice as well as informing the advice they share. A qualitative design using semi-structured, one-to-one, telephone interviews with AHPs was adopted. Thematic analysis was used to generate meaning, identify patterns and develop themes from the data. Eight interviews were conducted with physiotherapists, podiatrists and orthotists. Five themes were identified relating to health professionals: (a) Engaging with research; (b) Power of experience; (c) Influence of children's footwear companies; (d). Dr Google – the new expert and (e) Referral pathways for children's foot care. The findings indicate that the AHPs adopted a number of strategies to develop and inform their own professional knowledge and clinical practice. There could be barriers to accessing information, particularly in areas where there is limited understanding or gaps in research. The availability of online foot health information was inconsistent and could impact on how AHPs were able to engage with parents during consultations.