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Practice Analysis of Certified Pedorthists

January 2017



Professional Background, Work Setting and Demographic Information

  • Respondents came from 53 different geographical areas, were predominantly male (65%) and Caucasian (77%).
  • The most frequent educational level of respondents was a bachelor’s degree (32%), followed by some college (28%) and an associate’s degree (16%).
  • Respondents had an average of 14 years of pedorthic experience.
  • The most predominant primary work settings for respondents were single location retail setting–privately owned (21%), single location pedorthic practice—privately owned (13%) and multi-facility orthotic and prosthetic practice—privately owned (11%).
  • A large majority of respondents (88%) work with one to five other pedorthic employees, while a much smaller percentage works with six to 10 other pedorthic employees (7%).
  • Respondents spent the largest percentage of their work time (41%) performing clinical pedorthic patient care, followed by pedorthic fabrication and administration (17% each), with retail pedorthics representing 16% of their time. Respondents also spent a significant amount of time (9%) in continuing education.
  • Diabetes accounted for the greatest percentage of patients (48%), about two-thirds of whom had diabetes only (diabetes only patients thus totaled about one-third of all pedorthic patients). The next most commonly seen diagnostic categories were arthritis (14%) and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (13%).

Domains, Tasks and Knowledge and Skill Statements

  • Respondents spent the greatest amount of their pedorthic work in the Patient Assessment domain (27%), followed by Implementation of the Treatment Plan (22%) and Formulation of the Treatment Plan (18%).
  • Patient Assessment, Formulation of the Treatment Plan and Implementation of the Treatment Plan were the most highly rated domains, with more than 80% of respondents rating them as highly critical.
  • Thirty seven of the 59 tasks achieved mean frequency ratings of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale, indicating they were performed frequently to very frequently. The two highest rated tasks both had mean frequency ratings of 3.7 and were: Select the appropriate footwear and/or pedorthic device(s) and materials consistent with the patient’s condition to maximize the effectiveness of pedorthic treatment and Operate the pedorthic practice in accordance with sound business principles and governmental requirements.
  • The knowledge and skill statements were generally rated highly on the criticality scale, with 85 of the 88 statements achieving criticality ratings of 3.0 or higher with five statements rated at 3.9.
  • Seventy nine of the 88 statements were rated by more than 50% of respondents as knowledge or skill that should be acquired before the point of certification as a pedorthist.

Practice Areas and Devices

  • Eighty percent indicated that they provide clinical patient care and/or perform pedorthic fabrication activities
  • Of the respondents who indicated they provide clinical patient care and/or fabrication related activities, the greatest percentage of their pedorthic time was spent in the orthoses practice area (41%), followed by footwear (34%), modifications (14%) and retail (10%).
  • Pedorthists performed six listed activities at different rates depending on the practice area. Overall, Perform initial assessment and Fit were both performed most frequently (57%), followed closely by Perform follow up/evaluation (52%) and Measure/mold/ digitize/scan (51%).