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01-12-2021 | Research | Uitgave 1/2021 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2021

The biopsychosocial-digital continuum of foot orthosis practice and research: the VALUATOR model

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2021
Kevin Deschamps, Chris Nester, Veronica Newton, Gabriel Gijon-Nogueron, Engin Simsek, Antoine Brabants
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Foot orthoses have been used for decades despite uncertainty surrunding their therapeutic efficacy. Orthoses have been used exclusively to affect neuro-biomechanical input and outcome variables, however, there is emerging evidence that therapeutic efficacy may be affected by a psychological stimulus. Critical appraisal of the literature highlights that there is no holistic model upon which foot orthosis practice is taught, practised nor investigated. This paper introduces a conceptual model of foot orthosis practice (Value Based Foot Orthosis Practice (VALUATOR) model) that embraces a broader range of factors that are pertinent to orthosis practice, incorporating contemporary health service behaviours and values into orthosis practice for the first time.
Within the VALUATOR model, foot orthosis design and clinical value is considered along a bio-psycho-social-digital continuum that reflects the reality of foot orthosis practice. The model contextualises the variable outcomes that are observed in research and practice within 6 key areas: 1) value, 2) person-centered approach, 3) zone of optimal bio-psycho-social stress, 4) bio-psycho-social assessment, 5) monitoring, 6) primary and secondary clinical strategies.
The VALUATOR model is targeted at students, lecturers, scientists and practitioners and includes carefully chosen terminology to support a robust basis for educational and scientific discussion. It is believed that it provides a contemporary viewpoint and a structured conceptual metaphor that builds on existing evidence from a wide range of sources, invites constructive intellectual debate, and is anchored in the experiences of practitioners too. Stress testing the VALUATOR model will help determine its model and support further developments and evolution of orthotic practice in a evidence based way.

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