Utilization of foot care services among homeless adults: Implications for advanced practice nurses

Lisa Muirhead, Anthony James Roberson, Janet Secrest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: To present the findings of a survey that examined the reason(s) for use of foot care services among homeless adults in a mid-size southeastern city. Data sources: Data were collected using an 18-item questionnaire. One hundred homeless adults (65 males, 30 females) were asked about their level of foot care use, including under what circumstances foot care services might be used. Conclusion: Foot conditions are an important concern among homeless individuals. To add to the complexity of foot-related problems, many respondents (N= 56) from this survey reported a history of diabetes, hypertension, and peripheral vascular disease. The majority (N= 92) of those surveyed value healthy feet and education related to foot care. Condition of shoes, socks, and foot odor was identified by participants (n= 62) as a major deterrent to using foot care services. Implication for practice: To increase use of foot care programs among homeless adults, services must be offered during the day time when they are not competing to secure nightly shelter. Foot care programs should be innovative and tailored to their unique needs and address concern for sensitivity to feet, sock, and shoe condition; cost; specific services provided; competing needs; source of care; and how to access these services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Foot care
  • Healthcare utilization
  • Homeless
  • Vulnerable population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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