Great Foundations is a five year collaborative initiative being led by the Universities of Salford and Brighton. This work builds on long standing expertise in understanding human feet and gait, including the impact of musculoskeletal and neurological disorders, including stroke, cerebral palsy and metabolic disorders.
Encompassing several different research strands, the overarching aims of the project are to gain an understanding around parental views of children’s foot health, investigate what health and industry professionals know about children’s feet and describe how feet change in shape, structure and function as infants develop from crawling to independent walking. The research hopes to provide a major leap forward in the quality of knowledge and understanding of children’s foot health.
The project comprises the following main areas:
Focus groups, interviews and surveys with parents/carers, health professionals (such as Allied Health Professionals and Paediatricians) and industry professionals will allow us to synthesise current opinions, behaviours, practice and issues in this area. Greater understanding of all sectors will allow targeted recommendations to be made.
A state of the art baby motion analysis laboratory is allowing us to collect skin, shape, tendon, pressure and motion analysis data on the growing foot at set milestones during infant development. This unique project will lead to a holistic understanding of the contributions of typical foot development to overall child motor development and will from the building blocks for future research on atypical foot development.
3D foot scanning technology is being used to measure changes in foot shape between the ages of 2 and 7. This will also allow a greater understanding of typical foot development.
The impact of our findings on patient centred care, health professional standards and training, undergraduate education and industry will be considered. Part of this work involves conducting a Delphi study to gain consensus on a UK / Australian paediatric podiatry curriculum.
Funder: The Dr William M Scholl Unit of Podiatric Development, a charity focused on advancing foot related research and education in the UK. The fund is part of Central and North West London NHS Trust.
Team : University of Salford; Prof Chris Nester, Dr Carina Price, Dr Ana Martinez, Charlotte Sedgwick, Julie Reay (plus several other members of staff over the last four years). University of Brighton; Dr Stewart Morrison, Eleonora Montagnani, Molly Hodges (plus several other members of staff over the last four years).