Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 60,
October 2009 Abstract Supplement

The 2009 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting
Philadelphia October 16-21, 2009.

Chronic Foot Symptoms in Relation to Self-Reported and Performance-Based Physical Function

Golightly1,  Y.M., Hannan2,  M.T., Shi1,  X., Helmick3,  C.G., Renner4,  Jordan B., Jordan4,  Joanne M.

Thurston Arthritis Research Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Centers for Disease Control an, Atlanta, GA
The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC


This cross-sectional analysis examines associations of chronic foot symptoms with self-reported and performance-based measures of functional status in a large, community-based sample, controlling for confounders, including presence of radiographic osteoarthritis (rOA) and symptoms in the knee and hip.


Of the 2,705 Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project participants clinically evaluated in 1999–2004, 2,700 had data available for analyses (mean age 63.6 years). Presence of chronic foot symptoms was defined as pain, aching, or stiffness of at least one foot on most days. Physical function was assessed by the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and by two performance-based measures: timed 5 repeated chair stands and 8-foot walk time. Total HAQ score was categorized into 3 levels (0; greater than 0 but less than 1; and >=1). Timed chair stands was coded into 3-levels (< median completion time of 12 seconds (s), >= 12 s, and unable). Timed 8-foot walk was dichotomized at the median completion time (< 3.35s and >= 3.35 s). Separate multivariable logistic regression models examined associations between foot symptoms and the three functional status measures, controlling for age, race, gender, measured body mass index (BMI), knee and hip rOA, knee and hip symptoms, and depressive symptoms (CES-D Scale). Interaction terms between each of the self-reported and performance-based measures with each demographic and clinical characteristic were examined.


Participants with chronic foot symptoms were more likely than those without foot symptoms to report greater difficulty with function, as indicated by higher HAQ scores (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.50–2.12), and to require more time to complete the 8 foot walk (aOR=1.32, 95% CI 1.08–1.61). Among obese (BMI >30 kg/m2) participants, those with foot symptoms required more time to complete the chair stands (aOR=1.38, 95% CI 1.03–1.86) than those without symptoms, a difference not seen among non-obese (aOR=0.88, 95% CI 0.66–1.18).


Chronic foot symptoms were independently and significantly associated with self-report of greater functional difficulty and longer completion times for performance-based measures. Interventions for chronic foot symptoms may be important for helping patients prevent or cope with an existing decline in perceived and performance-based functional abilities.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Golightly, Y.M., Hannan, M.T., Shi, X., Helmick, C.G., Renner, Jordan B., Jordan, Joanne M.; Chronic Foot Symptoms in Relation to Self-Reported and Performance-Based Physical Function [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2009;60 Suppl 10 :1880
DOI: 10.1002/art.26954

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