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Open Access 09-05-2024 | RESEARCH

Foot and ankle problems in children and young people: a population-based cohort study

Authors: Emma Rezel-Potts, Catherine Bowen, Kate M. Dunn, Christopher I. Jones, Martin C. Gulliford, Stewart C. Morrison

Published in: European Journal of Pediatrics

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Abstract

The aim of this research was to describe the epidemiology, presentation and healthcare use in primary care for foot and ankle problems in children and young people (CYP) across England. We undertook a population-based cohort study using data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink Aurum database, a database of anonymised electronic health records from general practices across England. Data was accessed for all CYP aged 0–18 years presenting to their general practitioner between January 2015 and December 2021 with a foot and/or ankle problem. Consultation rates were calculated and used to estimate numbers of consultations in an average practice. Hierarchical Poisson regression estimated relative rates of consultations across sociodemographic groups and logistic regression evaluated factors associated with repeat consultations. A total of 416,137 patients had 687,753 foot and ankle events, of which the majority were categorised as “musculoskeletal” (34%) and “unspecified pain” (21%). Rates peaked at 601 consultations per 10,000 patient-years among males aged 10–14 years in 2018. An average practice might observe 132 (95% CI 110 to 155) consultations annually. Odds for repeat consultations were higher among those with pre-existing diagnoses including juvenile arthritis (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.48 to 2.03).
    Conclusions: Consultations for foot and ankle problems were high among CYP, particularly males aged 10 to 14 years. These data can inform service provision to ensure CYP access appropriate health professionals for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
What is Known:
• Foot and ankle problems can have considerable impact on health-related quality of life in children and young people (CYP).
• There is limited data describing the nature and frequency of foot and ankle problems in CYP.
What is New:
• Foot and ankle consultations were higher in English general practice among CYP aged 10 to 14 years compared to other age groups, and higher among males compared to females.
• The high proportion of unspecified diagnoses and repeat consultations suggests there is need for greater integration between general practice and allied health professionals in community-based healthcare settings.
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Metadata
Title
Foot and ankle problems in children and young people: a population-based cohort study
Authors
Emma Rezel-Potts
Catherine Bowen
Kate M. Dunn
Christopher I. Jones
Martin C. Gulliford
Stewart C. Morrison
Publication date
09-05-2024
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Published in
European Journal of Pediatrics
Print ISSN: 0340-6199
Electronic ISSN: 1432-1076
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-024-05590-8