The impact of the Ponseti treatment method on parents and caregivers of children with clubfoot: a comparison of two urban populations in Europe and Africa.

PURPOSE:
With the Ponseti treatment method established as the gold standard, children with clubfeet face a prolonged treatment regime that might impact on their families. We aimed to determine how Ponseti treatment influences the lives of parents and caregivers and what coping strategies they use. Secondarily, we aimed to identify any potential differences between two urban referral centres for clubfoot.

METHODS:
A total of 115 parents of children affected with idiopathic clubfoot were recruited and included in two groups: one from the United Kingdom (UK) and the other from South Africa (SA). The participants completed the following three instruments: the Impact on Family Scale (IOFS), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and the Brief COPE.

RESULTS:
During the bracing phase, the IOFS showed a trend towards lower scores when compared to the casting phase for both cohorts (p = 0.247 and p = 0.434, respectively). The SA population scored higher than the UK in the MSPSS in both casting (p = 0.002) and bracing phases (p = 0.004) and used coping strategies at a significantly higher level when compared to the UK population (p < 0.05) in both treatment phases.

CONCLUSION:
This is the first study to show that Ponseti treatment for clubfoot causes an impact on family function. In SA, perceived social support is higher and coping strategies are used more often than in the UK to deal with the stressful circumstances of treatment.

Good results after Ponseti treatment for neglected congenital clubfoot in Ethiopia. A prospective study of 22 children (32 feet) from 2 to 10 years of age.

Neglected clubfoot deformity is a major cause of disability in low-income countries. Most children with clubfoot have little access to treatment in these countries, and they are often inadequately treated. We evaluated the effectiveness of Ponseti’s technique in neglected clubfoot in children in a rural setting in Ethiopia.A prospective study was conducted from June 2007 through July 2010. 22 consecutive children aged 2-10 years (32 feet) with neglected clubfoot were treated by the Ponseti method. The deformity was assessed using the Pirani scoring system. The average follow-up time was 3 years.A plantigrade functional foot was obtained in all patients by Ponseti casting and limited surgical intervention. 2 patients (4 feet) had recurrent deformity. They required re-manipulation and re-tenotomy of the Achilles tendon and 1 other patient required tibialis anterior transfer for dynamic supination deformity of the foot.This study shows that the Ponseti method with some additional surgery can be used successfully as the primary treatment in neglected clubfoot, and that it minimizes the need for extensive corrective surgery.

Assessment of success of the Ponseti method of clubfoot management in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review.

Clubfoot is one of the most common congenital deformities affecting mobility. It leads to pain and disability if untreated. The Ponseti method is widely used for the correction of clubfoot. There is variation in how the result of clubfoot management is measured and reported. This review aims to determine and evaluate how success with the Ponseti method is reported in sub-Saharan Africa.Five databases were examined in August 2017 for studies that met the inclusion criteria of: (1) evaluation of the effect of clubfoot management; (2) use of the Ponseti method; (3) original study undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa; (4) published between 2000 and 2017. We used the PRISMA statement to report the scope of studies. The included studies were categorised according to a hierarchy of study methodologies and a 27-item quality measure identified methodological strengths and weaknesses. The definition of success was based on the primary outcome reported.Seventy-seven articles were identified by the search. Twenty-two articles met the inclusion criteria, of which 14 (64%) reported a primary outcome. Outcomes were predominantly reported though case series and the quality of evidence was low. Clinical assessment was the most commonly reported outcome measure and few studies reported long-term outcome. The literature available to assess success of clubfoot management is characterised by a lack of standardisation of outcomes, with different measures reporting success in 68% to 98% of cases.We found variation in the criteria used to define success resulting in a wide range of results. There is need for an agreed definition of good outcome (successful management) following both the correction and the bracing phases of the Ponseti method to establish standards to monitor and evaluate service delivery.

Towards effective Ponseti clubfoot care: the Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project.

Neglected clubfoot is common, disabling, and contributes to poverty in developing nations. The Ponseti clubfoot treatment has high efficacy in correcting the clubfoot deformity in ideal conditions but is demanding on parents and on developing nations’ healthcare systems. Its effectiveness and the best method of care delivery remain unknown in this context. The 6-year Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project (USCCP) aims to build the Ugandan healthcare system’s capacity to treat children with the Ponseti method and assess its effectiveness. We describe the Project and its achievements to date (March 2008). The Ugandan Ministry of Health has approved the Ponseti method as the preferred treatment for congenital clubfoot in all its hospitals. USCCP has trained 798 healthcare professionals to identify and treat foot deformities at birth. Ponseti clubfoot care is now available in 21 hospitals; in 2006-2007, 872 children with clubfeet were seen. USCCP-designed teaching modules on clubfoot and the Ponseti method are in use at two medical and three paramedical schools. 1152 students in various health disciplines have benefited. USCCP surveys have (1) determined the incidence of clubfoot in Uganda as 1.2 per 1000 live births, (2) gained knowledge surrounding attitudes, beliefs, and practices about clubfoot across different regions, and (3) identified barriers to adherence to Ponseti treatment protocols. USCCP is now following a cohort of treated children to evaluate its effectiveness in the Ugandan context.Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Evaluation of the utility of the Ponseti method of correction of clubfoot deformity in a developing nation.

Clubfoot is the commonest congenital deformity in babies. More than 100,000 babies are born worldwide each year with congenital clubfoot. Around 80% of the cases occur in developing nations. We treated 154 feet [mean Pirani score (total) 5.57] in 96 children (78 males, 18 females) by the Ponseti method from January 2003 to December 2005. A prospective follow-up for a mean duration of 19.5 months (range 6-32 months) was undertaken. After six months of treatment the Pirani score was reduced to zero for all patients. The results show that corrective surgery, sometimes multiple, can be avoided in most cases which are usually associated with the development of a stiff, painful foot. Low socio-economic status and illiteracy prevailing in developing nations increases the prevalence of neglected clubfoot that is still harder to correct. Integration into various programs and proper use of available resources can decrease neglected clubfoot and improve chances of successful and timely correction of deformity. Bracing constitutes an important part of treatment and proper motivation and education of the parents mitigates the chances of losing correction. The Ponseti method of correcting clubfoot is especially important in developing countries, where operative facilities are not available in the remote areas and well-trained physicians and personnel can manage the cases effectively with cast treatment only.