Development of a foot care model to determine the risk of foot problems among homeless adults in Canada

Melba Sheila D’Souza*, Noeman A. Mirza, Subrahmanya Nairy Karkada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Foot care is a common problem for homeless adults in cities, who often receive fragmented foot care services, resulting in increased foot problems, health complications, hospitalisation, limb removal and disabilities. Among the health factors that negatively affect the homeless, foot health is essential, but often neglected. This study employed a descriptive, cross-sectional research design to assess the foot care of homeless people and develop recommendations for clinical practice. Using Inlow's 60-s foot screening method, the foot conditions of a purposive sample of 65 homeless adults were examined in British Columbia, Canada, in 2019–2020. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. Determinants, such as sex and years of homelessness significantly contributed to homeless individuals’ risk of developing foot problems. Differences in perceived and observed foot problems were influenced by equitable access to social health and healthcare services. Foot assessment is not well-covered by homeless health services and should be implemented as part of the standard medical review of homeless patients. Furthermore, foot assessment should be conducted by healthcare professionals, rather than relying on the standard practice of service users' self-report. Finally, foot care should be based on tailoring assessments and interventions for the individualised needs of homeless service users. Future research must seek ways to integrate homeless individuals' voices in the development, implementation and evaluation of foot care services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e214-e223
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • assessment
  • foot care
  • foot problems
  • health services
  • healthcare
  • homeless
  • model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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