Objective: To develop a new foot impact scale to assess foot status in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using established qualitative methodology and the latest item response techniques (Rasch analysis).
Methods: Foot problems in RA were explored by conducting qualitative interviews that were then used to generate items for a new foot impact scale. Further validation was undertaken following postal surveys and Rasch analysis.
Results: Analysis of the first postal survey (n = 192 responses) produced a 63-item binary response, 4-subscale instrument. The 4 subscales covered the domains impairment, activities, participation, and footwear. Following test-retest postal surveys and additional analysis, the instrument was reduced to a 2 subscale, 51-item questionnaire covering the domains of impairments/shoes and activities/participation. Initial results of these subscales indicate good psychometric properties, external validity, and test-retest reliability.
Conclusion: A foot impact scale to assess the impact of RA and to measure the effect of interventions has been developed. The 2 scales comprising the instrument demonstrate good psychometric properties.