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Title: An interpretive phenomenological study of user experiences of therapeutic footwear
Author: Williams, A. E.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3568 7576
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2008
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Therapeutic footwear is provided to patients with the primary aims of reducing foot pain and improving foot health. Therefore, it is of concern that patients choose not to wear it. This choice has been attributed to its poor appearance. However, there may be other reasons for this choice and the reasons may be more complex than previously acknowledged. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the users’ experiences of this footwear. In the context of this study the ‘users’ are women with rheumatoid arthritis. This study was based on an interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA) that employed conversational style interviews to gather data. Ten women with RA and experience of wearing the footwear were recruited and following ethical approval the interviews were carried out, transcribed, organised and analysed. Five organising themes emerged as findings. These were the participants: • feelings about themselves, • feelings about the footwear, • unmet needs and expectations, • behaviour with the footwear and • feelings about the consultation with the practitioner. The final, global theme was that the patient/practitioner consultation has a powerful influence on the women’s feelings about themselves, the footwear, their expectations of it and their behaviour with it. This study has provided insight into their experiences of this footwear in that, unlike any other intervention, it replaces something that is normally worn and is part of an individual’s perception of self and their perception of how others see them. The footwear impacts more on women’s emotions than previously acknowledged and in addition, it has been found that the consultation influences their emotions and behaviour with the footwear. As well as improvements in footwear design and the service that delivers it, the training of the practitioners in a more patient focussed consultation style could improve the women’s experience and engagement in the footwear as a health intervention, as well as something that is ‘worn’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R Medicine (General) ; Health and Wellbeing