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01-12-2018 | Research | Uitgave 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2018

National profile of foot orthotic provision in the United Kingdom, part 2: podiatrist, orthotist and physiotherapy practices

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2018
C. J. Nester, A. Graham, A. Martinez-Santos, A. E. Williams, J. McAdam, V. Newton, D. Sweeney, D. Walker
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13047-018-0250-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



A national survey recently provided the first description of foot orthotic provision in the United Kingdom. This article aims to profile and compare the foot orthoses practice of podiatrists, orthotists and physiotherapists within the current provision.


Quantitative data were collected from podiatrists, orthotists and physiotherapists via an online questionnaire. The topics, questions and answers were developed through a series of pilot phases. The professions were targeted through electronic and printed materials advertising the survey. Data were captured over a 10 month period in 2016. Differences between professions were investigated using Chi squared and Fischer’s exact tests, and regression analysis was used to predict the likelihood of each aspect of practice in each of the three professions.


Responses from 357 podiatrists, 93 orthotists and 49 physiotherapists were included in the analysis. The results reveal statistically significant differences in employment and clinical arrangements, the clinical populations treated, and the nature and volume of foot orthoses caseload.


Podiatrists, orthotists and physiotherapists provide foot orthoses to important clinical populations in both a prevention and treatment capacity. Their working context, scope of practice and mix of clinical caseload differs significantly, although there are areas of overlap. Addressing variations in practice could align this collective workforce to national allied health policy.

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Extra materiaal
Additional file 1: P values for all statistical tests. (DOCX 34 kb)
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