The Accuracy and Reliability of Plantar Pressure Measurements for the Early Diagnosis of Foot Deformities in Patients Suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Aim: Pedobarographic analysis may be employed to quantify foot function, however, the value of pedobarographic analysis as a diagnostic tool for the screening of recently diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients remains uncertain. The aim of this systematic review was to: a) assess the different instruments used to analyse plantar pressure; b) to report on the technical considerations associated with manual and automatic masking and c) to assess the validity together with the inter- and intraobserver reliability of pedobarographic analyses for identification of pathological profiles in patients suffering with RA. Method: Following the PRISMA guidelines, a literature search was undertaken using a variety of computerised bibliographic databases. The Quality Appraisal of Diagnostic Reliability was employed to assist in the analysis of reliability. Results: A review and analysis of the literature found only 20 papers with relevant reliability and accuracy. Conclusion: The literature concerning the validity and reliability of pedobarography in the screening for early onset foot deformities in RA patients has not been proven. Although the forefoot has been identified as a common area of the plantar surface where deformities occur in RA, there are very few studies that demonstrate any subtle changes that could forecast forefoot deformities in asymptomatic RA patients.


Warren Miner-Williams

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