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An action research approach to facilitating the adoption of a foot health assessment tool in India

Harrison-Blount, MJ, Cullen, MB, Nester, CJ and Williams, A 2015, 'An action research approach to facilitating the adoption of a foot health assessment tool in India' , Journal of foot and ankle research, 8 (52) .

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Background: India has a diabetes population that is growing and alongside this, the incidence of limb threatening foot problems is increasing. Foot health care provision does not yet meet this demand. In one locality in India, clinicians had an unstructured approach to foot health assessments resulting in poor adoption of evidence based guidelines from the West and a persistence of serious foot complications. There was the perception that existing assessment tools did not take into account the local cultural, organizational and professional needs and there was a lack of ownership of any potential solution to the problem. Therefore, the aim of this work was to facilitate the ownership and development of a foot health assessment tool for use in the Indian context. In order to achieve this an action research approach was chosen. Methods: Participants were facilitated through the action and implementation phases of the action research cycle by the researchers. The action phase included generating a list of potential items for inclusion in the tool from a review of the literature to provide an evidence based foundation for the foot health assessment tool. A modified Delphi method was used to further refine the contents of the tool. Members of the Delphi Panel (n=8) were experts in their field of medicine and experts in delivering health care within services in India. Results: The outcome of the study was the adoption of a locally developed foot health assessment tool (Salford Indian Foot Health Assessment Tool, SIFT). It contains thirteen sections, which reflect the risk factors identified for assessing foot health agreed by the participants to fit the Indian context. The SIFT is supported with evidence based guidelines from the West and a training program was delivered by the researchers in order to support its implementation into clinical practice. Conclusion: An action research approach has facilitated the development and implementation of a locally created and owned foot health assessment tool. This in turn has resulted in the integration of evidence-based guidelines from the West with consideration to local cultural, organizational and professional needs and ultimately the needs of their patients. Further work is underway evaluating the outcomes of the SIFT in practice. Keywords: Diabetes; Action research; Foot health assessment.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of foot and ankle research
Publisher: BioMed Central
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1757-1146
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Michael J Harrison-Blount
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 17:12
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 19:32

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