Study Indicates Integrated Multidisciplinary Approach Gets Best Outcomes with Management of Foot Health in Patients with Rheumatic Conditions - July 2015

Authors - Nina Lansdowne, Angela Brenton-Rule, Matthew Carroll and Keith Rome

Rheumatic conditions is a broad term used to describe a range of disorders of the joints and connective tissues including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, systemic sclerosis, psoriatic arthropathy and systemic lupus erythematosus. These diseases are a leading cause of disability in adults.

This New Zealand study looked at how Rheumatic conditions are generally managed by podiatrists and the results demonstrated poor integration of podiatrists into multidisciplinary teams caring for patients with arthritic conditions. Few podiatrists reported being part of an established multidisciplinary team and sited barriers to inclusion.

Severe physical, psychological and social consequences can be associated with rheumatic conditions. Therefore, a multidisciplinary management approach has been reported to address all aspects of the complex and variable needs of patients living with rheumatic conditions. A multidisciplinary management approach, when effectively co-ordinated, has the potential to improve health outcomes, minimise waste and service duplication, and provide more accessible and timely care. The investigation of the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary management approach has seen positive outcomes compared to a rheumatologist-centred approach - Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2015

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