It's Gotta Be the Shoes: A Study of What Works Best for Nurses Feet in the NICU

Friday, 11 July 2008: 8:30 AM
Gary Dean Parker, PhD, MS, BSN , Research and Education, Mercy Health Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Michelle E. Mcever, BSN , NICU, Mercy Health Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Linda Theresa Fanning, BSN, RN, MS , Nursing Administration, Mercy Health Center, Oklahoma, OK
Chris Weigel, MS, BSN , Mercy Health Center, Oklahoma city, OK

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand how the type of shoes often used by nurses can have a direct effect on foot function.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand how to use the Foot Function Index (FFI) and how this tool measures foot pain and foot disability.

Background: Day in and day out, Nurses are on their feet often 12 hours a day. Nurse's feet literally take a beating everyday while working. The NICU is not immune to this problem. Many of the Nurses in the NICU work through the pain in their feet. However as time goes by, some Nurses are unable to tolerate the pain and are forced to take time off or in the worst case, have surgery performed on their feet. Using the Iowa model to guide us, it was found there was not a sufficient research base available; therefore it decided to conduct our own trial.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if by wearing specialty shoes equipped with a built in orthic and rigid arch, would it help the NICU nurses have fewer incidents / decrease of pain in their feet while at work.

Method: After receiving IRB approval, the NICU nurses who were interested and meet study inclusion criteria were consented. Each was given a copy of the Foot Function Index (FFI) to collect baseline scores of their foot pain. The FFI is a self reported measure of pain, function, and activity associated with foot dysfunction. The FFI has a 95% confidence interval and a Cronback Alpha score of 0.94. After the baseline FFI tests were collected, an Orthotic expert examined and fit the nurse's feet for the specialty shoes. After the nurses received the shoes, the FFI was repeated 90 days later.

Results: The FFI was found to be an easily administered instrument. It provided a practical method of measuring foot pain. Using multiple data analysis it was shown the nurses who participated in the trial had a 35% decrease in foot related pain. More trials are currently being planned utilizing a larger sample size.