Women have long had a reputation for their love of shoes. Davis et al looked at the importance of this relationship as women age and may have health factors that qualify them as fall risk patients.
As healthcare professionals, we need to advice our patients for optimum safety whilst respecting their personal choices.
This study published in Journal of the American Podiatry Association in Nov 2013 looked at women between 60-80 years old with no history of falls or physical handicaps.
The women interviewed conveyed comfort and aesthetics as being the two primary decision makers when choosing footwear.
Issues of the shoes looking appropriate for the outfit or event were common and also avoidance of certain shoes that caused pain.
Davis et al raise the importance for health care providers to take time to incorporate the personal preferences of these patients if they are at risk.
Recommendations for footwear that is unattractive or lacks comfort, despite its potential safety, will likely have low compliance.
The study closes with “If health-care practitioners or family members want to influence this thinking so that older women wear footwear that may be considered safer, it is clear that this footwear will still have to be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable.”
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