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Direct inpatient burden caused by foot-related conditions: a multisite point-prevalence study
  1. Peter A Lazzarini1,2,3,4,5,
  2. Sheree E Hurn1,2,
  3. Suzanne S Kuys3,6,
  4. Maarten C Kamp1,
  5. Vanessa Ng1,3,
  6. Courtney Thomas7,
  7. Scott Jen8,
  8. Ewan M Kinnear3,4,
  9. Michael C d'Emden9,10,
  10. Lloyd Reed1,2
  1. 1School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3Allied Health Research Collaborative, Metro North Hospital & Health Service, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4Department of Podiatry, Metro North Hospital & Health Service, Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  5. 5Wound Management Innovation Cooperative Research Centre, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  6. 6School of Physiotherapy, Australian Catholic University, Banyo, Queensland, Australia
  7. 7Department of Podiatry, North West Hospital & Health Service, Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
  8. 8Department of Podiatry, West Moreton Hospital & Health Service, Queensland Health, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
  9. 9Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  10. 10School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Peter A Lazzarini; Peter.Lazzarini{at}


Objective The aims of this point-prevalence study were to investigate a representative inpatient population to determine the prevalence of people admitted to hospital for the reason of a foot-related condition, and identify associated independent factors.

Methods Participants were adult inpatients in 5 different representative hospitals, admitted for any reason on the day of data collection. Maternity, mental health and cognitively impaired inpatients were excluded. Participants were surveyed on a range of self-reported demographic, social determinant, medical history, foot disease history, self-care, footwear, past foot treatment prior to hospitalisation and reason for admission variables. Physical examinations were performed to clinically diagnose a range of foot disease and foot risk factor variables. Independent factors associated with being admitted to hospital for the primary or secondary reason of a foot-related condition were analysed using multivariate logistic regression.

Results Overall, 733 participants were included; mean (SD) age 62 (19) years, male 55.8%. Foot-related conditions were the primary reason for admission in 54 participants (7.4% (95% CI 5.7% to 9.5%)); 36 for foot disease (4.9%), 15 foot trauma (2.1%). Being admitted for the primary reason of a foot-related condition was independently associated with foot infection, critical peripheral arterial disease, foot trauma and past foot treatment by a general practitioner and surgeon (p<0.01). Foot-related conditions were a secondary reason for admission in 28 participants (3.8% (2.6% to 5.6%)), and were independently associated with diabetes and current foot ulcer (p<0.01).

Conclusions This study, the first in a representative inpatient population, suggests the direct inpatient burden caused by foot-related conditions is significantly higher than previously appreciated. Findings indicate 1 in every 13 inpatients was primarily admitted because of a foot-related condition with most due to foot disease or foot trauma. Future strategies are recommended to investigate and intervene in the considerable inpatient burden caused by foot-related conditions.


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