Foot problems can adversely impact foot function and quality of life. Foot problems are often overlooked, particularly in populations with limited health care access. Little is known about the foot health of Haitian immigrants who live and work in the bateyes (rural sugarcane villages) of the Dominican Republic. These immigrant workers may experience foot problems that could affect foot function and the ability to work and provide for their families.
Cross-sectional, exploratory, descriptive study design.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING:
A convenience sample of adults was recruited from an ongoing community-based participatory research project evaluating a mobile hypertension screening and treatment clinic program in 11 Dominican batey communities.
Foot health was assessed using the Foot Problems Checklist, a 24-item survey instrument developed for this study based on a review of the literature and foot clinician expertise. A certified foot care nurse recorded foot health data on the Foot Problems Checklist via visual and physical inspection.
Study participants were 25 females and 16 males, aged 18 to 90 years, and all had at least one foot health problem. The most common foot problems were calluses (78%), dry skin (76%), thick nails (59%), jagged nails (29%), long/overgrown nails (17%), and skin fissures (12%).
While the foot problems we observed were not considered serious, they could become progressively debilitating and be prevented with proper self-management guided by appropriate knowledge and skills and available supplies. We recommend the development and testing of foot care self-management interventions deliverable via mobile clinics to increase access and improve foot health outcomes.