Publication Date



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.


School of Physiotherapy

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: