Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 1, 2010
   Pages 73 — 82

Abstract — Use and usability of custom-made orthopedic shoes

Jaap J. van Netten, MSc;1-2* Michiel J. A. Jannink, PhD;3-4 Juha M. Hijmans, PhD;1,5 Jan H. B. Geertzen, MD, PhD;1-2 Klaas Postema, MD, PhD1,2,5

1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Center for Rehabilitation, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 2Graduate School for Health Research, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 3Roessingh Research and Development, Enschede, the Netherlands; 4Department of Biomechanical Engineering, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands; 5School of Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands

Abstract — The goal of this study was to investigate the use of custom-made orthopedic shoes (OS) and the association between the use of OS and the most relevant aspects of their usability. Over a 6-month period, patients meeting the inclusion criteria were recruited by 12 orthopedic shoe companies scattered throughout the Netherlands and asked to complete a questionnaire composed of a pre- and post-OS section. Patients with different pathologies were included in the study (n = 339; response 67%). Mean age of the patients was 63 +/- 15 years, and 38% were male. Three months after delivery, 81% of the patients used their OS frequently (4-7 days/week), 13% occasionally (1-3 days/week), and 6% did not use their OS. Associations were found between use and all measured aspects of usability (p-values varied from <0.001 to 0.028). Patients who used their OS more often had a more positive opinion regarding all the aspects of usability. We conclude that all aspects of the usability of OS are relevant in relation to their use and should be taken into account when prescribing and evaluating OS.

Key words: diabetes mellitus, foot disorders, medical devices, orthotics, patient satisfaction, rehabilitation, rheumatoid arthritis, shoes, usability, use.

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