Patients' perceptions of the Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator (ODFS)

Clin Rehabil. 1999 Oct;13(5):439-46. doi: 10.1191/026921599677086409.


Objective: To determine the perceived benefit, pattern and problems of use of the Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator (ODFS) and the users' opinion of the service provided.

Design: Questionnaire sent in a single mailshot to current and past users of the ODFS. Returns were sent anonymously.

Setting: Outpatient-based clinical service.

Subjects: One hundred and sixty-eight current and 123 past users with diagnoses of stroke (CVA), multiple sclerosis (MS), incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cerebral palsy (CP).

Intervention: Functional electrical stimulation (FES) to correct dropped foot in subjects with an upper motor neuron lesion, using the ODFS.

Main outcome measures: Purpose-designed questionnaire.

Results: Return rate 64% current users (mean duration of use 19.5 months) and 43% past users (mean duration of use 10.7 months). Principal reason cited for using equipment was a reduction in the effort of walking. Principal reasons identified for discontinuing were an improvement in mobility, electrode positioning difficulties and deteriorating mobility. There were some problems with reliability of equipment. Level of service provided was thought to be good.

Conclusion: The ODFS was perceived by the users to be of considerable benefit. A comprehensive clinical follow-up service is essential to achieve the maximum continuing benefit from FES-based orthoses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Foot Diseases / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neuron Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Orthotic Devices / standards*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Stroke / complications*