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Survey of ultrasound practice amongst podiatrists in the UK

Survey of ultrasound practice amongst podiatrists in the UK
Survey of ultrasound practice amongst podiatrists in the UK

Background: Ultrasound in podiatry practice encompasses musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging, vascular hand-held Doppler ultrasound and therapeutic ultrasound. Sonography practice is not regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), with no requirement to hold a formal qualification. The College of Podiatry does not currently define ultrasound training and competencies. This study aimed to determine the current use of ultrasound, training received and mentorship received and/or provided by podiatrists using ultrasound. Methods: A quantitative study utilising a cross-sectional, on-line, single-event survey was undertaken within the UK. Results: Completed surveys were received from 284 podiatrists; 173 (70%) use ultrasound as part of their general practice, 139 (49%) for musculoskeletal problems, 131 (46%) for vascular assessment and 39 (14%) to support their surgical practice. Almost a quarter (n=62) worked for more than one organisation; 202 (71%) were employed by the NHS and/or private sector (n=118, 41%). Nearly all (93%) respondents report using a hand-held vascular Doppler in their daily practice; 216 (82%) to support decisions regarding treatment options, 102 (39%) to provide diagnostic reports for other health professionals, and 34 (13%) to guide nerve blocks. Ultrasound imaging was used by 104 (37%) respondents primarily to aid clinical decision making (n=81) and guide interventions (steroid injections n=67; nerve blocks n=39). Ninety-three percent stated they use ultrasound imaging to treat their own patients, while others scan at the request of other podiatrists (n=28) or health professionals (n=18). Few use ultrasound imaging for research (n=7) or education (n=2). Only 32 (11%) respondents (n=20 private sector) use therapeutic ultrasound to treat patients presenting with musculoskeletal complaints, namely tendon pathologies. Few respondents (18%) had completed formal post-graduate CASE (Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education) accredited ultrasound courses. Forty (14%) respondents receive ultrasound mentorship; the majority from fellow podiatrists (n=17) or medical colleagues (n=15). Over half (n=127) who do not have ultrasound mentorship indicated they would like a mentor predominantly for ultrasound imaging. Fifty-five (19%) report they currently provide ultrasound mentorship for others. Conclusions: Understanding the scope of ultrasound practice, the training undertaken and the requirements for mentorship will underpin the development of competencies and recommendations defined by the College of Podiatry to support professional development and ensure safe practice.

Hand-held Doppler ultrasound, Mentorship, Podiatrists, Therapeutic ultrasound, Training, Ultrasound imaging
1757-1146
1-6
Siddle, Heidi J.
29d61acf-b701-4240-be48-be867a8334e4
Patience, Aimie
16b71f94-49dd-4511-9769-ea012cc25312
Coughtrey, James
a7d114f0-dcb9-4094-bd43-7c8063c2840a
Mooney, Jean
4e23eac8-3cdb-4456-a994-10afa271072e
Fox, Martin
e1cf0781-9672-4e39-9021-d5a82c794b40
Cherry, Lindsey
95256156-ce8c-4e7c-b04d-b6e459232441
Siddle, Heidi J.
29d61acf-b701-4240-be48-be867a8334e4
Patience, Aimie
16b71f94-49dd-4511-9769-ea012cc25312
Coughtrey, James
a7d114f0-dcb9-4094-bd43-7c8063c2840a
Mooney, Jean
4e23eac8-3cdb-4456-a994-10afa271072e
Fox, Martin
e1cf0781-9672-4e39-9021-d5a82c794b40
Cherry, Lindsey
95256156-ce8c-4e7c-b04d-b6e459232441

Siddle, Heidi J., Patience, Aimie, Coughtrey, James, Mooney, Jean, Fox, Martin and Cherry, Lindsey (2018) Survey of ultrasound practice amongst podiatrists in the UK. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 11 (1), 1-6. (doi:10.1186/s13047-018-0263-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Ultrasound in podiatry practice encompasses musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging, vascular hand-held Doppler ultrasound and therapeutic ultrasound. Sonography practice is not regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), with no requirement to hold a formal qualification. The College of Podiatry does not currently define ultrasound training and competencies. This study aimed to determine the current use of ultrasound, training received and mentorship received and/or provided by podiatrists using ultrasound. Methods: A quantitative study utilising a cross-sectional, on-line, single-event survey was undertaken within the UK. Results: Completed surveys were received from 284 podiatrists; 173 (70%) use ultrasound as part of their general practice, 139 (49%) for musculoskeletal problems, 131 (46%) for vascular assessment and 39 (14%) to support their surgical practice. Almost a quarter (n=62) worked for more than one organisation; 202 (71%) were employed by the NHS and/or private sector (n=118, 41%). Nearly all (93%) respondents report using a hand-held vascular Doppler in their daily practice; 216 (82%) to support decisions regarding treatment options, 102 (39%) to provide diagnostic reports for other health professionals, and 34 (13%) to guide nerve blocks. Ultrasound imaging was used by 104 (37%) respondents primarily to aid clinical decision making (n=81) and guide interventions (steroid injections n=67; nerve blocks n=39). Ninety-three percent stated they use ultrasound imaging to treat their own patients, while others scan at the request of other podiatrists (n=28) or health professionals (n=18). Few use ultrasound imaging for research (n=7) or education (n=2). Only 32 (11%) respondents (n=20 private sector) use therapeutic ultrasound to treat patients presenting with musculoskeletal complaints, namely tendon pathologies. Few respondents (18%) had completed formal post-graduate CASE (Consortium for the Accreditation of Sonographic Education) accredited ultrasound courses. Forty (14%) respondents receive ultrasound mentorship; the majority from fellow podiatrists (n=17) or medical colleagues (n=15). Over half (n=127) who do not have ultrasound mentorship indicated they would like a mentor predominantly for ultrasound imaging. Fifty-five (19%) report they currently provide ultrasound mentorship for others. Conclusions: Understanding the scope of ultrasound practice, the training undertaken and the requirements for mentorship will underpin the development of competencies and recommendations defined by the College of Podiatry to support professional development and ensure safe practice.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 May 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 May 2018
Keywords: Hand-held Doppler ultrasound, Mentorship, Podiatrists, Therapeutic ultrasound, Training, Ultrasound imaging

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421368
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421368
ISSN: 1757-1146
PURE UUID: 56357459-ef88-4afa-9b6b-e76d52f85a70
ORCID for Lindsey Cherry: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3165-1004

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Date deposited: 06 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:40

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