Health-related quality of life is substantially worse in individuals with plantar heel pain

Sci Rep. 2022 Sep 19;12(1):15652. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-19588-5.


This study aimed to compare health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in people with and without plantar heel pain (PHP). This was a cross-sectional observational study that compared 50 adult participants with PHP to 25 participants without PHP who were matched for age, sex and body mass index (BMI). HRQoL measures included a generic measure, the Short Form 36 version 2 (SF-36v2), and foot-specific measures, including 100 mm visual analogue scales (VASs) for pain, the Foot Health Status Questionnaire (FHSQ), and the Foot Function Index-Revised (FFI-R). Comparisons in HRQoL between the two groups were conducted using linear regression, with additional adjustment for the comorbidity, osteoarthritis, which was found to be substantially different between the two groups. For generic HRQoL, participants with PHP scored worse in the SF-36v2 physical component summary score (p < 0.001, large effect size), but there was no difference in the mental component summary score (p = 0.690, very small effect size). Specifically, physical function (p < 0.001, very large effect size), role physical (p < 0.001, large effect size) and bodily pain (p < 0.001, large effect size) in the physical component section were worse in those with PHP. For foot-specific HRQoL, participants with PHP also scored worse in the VASs, the FHSQ and the FFI-R (p ≤ 0.005, huge effect sizes for all domains, except FHSQ footwear, which was large effect size, and FFR-R stiffness, activity limitation, and social issues, which were very large effect sizes). After accounting for age, sex, BMI and osteoarthritis, adults with PHP have poorer generic and foot-specific HRQoL.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Foot Diseases*
  • Heel*
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / complications
  • Pain
  • Quality of Life*