Background: Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a disabling, chronic, progressive tendon condition that detrimentally affects foot, ankle and lower limb function. Research suggests that posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is poorly recognised and difficult to treat. When posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is diagnosed, the clinician is faced with a weak evidence base and guidelines for the common conservative treatments. to guide their management. Moreover, there are no current evidence-based guidelines for the conservative management of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Emerging research suggests that posterior tibial tendon dysfunction not only has a physical impact on the patient, but it also has psychosocial impact on quality of life. Conservative treatments for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction are generally undertaken during early management. The most common are foot orthoses, exercises, bracing, lifestyle changes and injections. Quantitative evidence supporting conservative treatments for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction in relation to function, pain and patient reported outcome measures are reported in the literature. There is a paucity of qualitative research investigating the psychosocial impact of the common treatments for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Interpretative phenomenology is concerned with lived experience which is involves the detailed exploration of experience which is embedded within the social and temporal contexts of the lifeworld of the person. The aim of study research is to investigate the lived experience of conservative treatments for patients who have posterior tibial tendon dysfunction using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Methods: Five participants with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction were purposively recruited from a private podiatry practice and semi-structured interviews were conducted to examine their lived experiences of treatment for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. The data for this study was collected and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: This research identified three superordinate themes which influenced the lived experience of treatment for these patients (i) adverse experience during the patient journey (ii) treatment burden, and (iii) negative self-concept. Conclusion: This study highlights some of what is anecdotally known about the lived experience of treatment for patients with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, but has never been studied in a qualitative, methodological manner. This study addresses the gap in the qualitative literature. It reveals novel aspects of the lived experience throughout the patient journey, the detrimental impact of treatment burden, loss and negative self-concept. This evidence is important because it highlights the need for a greater understanding of the psychological and social factors that can influence the lived experience of treatment for this group of patients.
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- Conservative treatment
- Lived experience
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
- Qualitative research