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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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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


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