Background: Foot disorders in older individuals contribute to balance, posture, and gait instability, causing a decrease in activity of daily living and quality of life. However, the existing foot problems of older individuals in the community have not been studied well in Japan.
Method: This cross-sectional study analyzed the foot-related data of 176 frail, old-aged participants who attended day service centers in Japan. Foot conditions were assessed and measured from various aspects, as was weight distribution to the floor. Multiple regression analysis was used to find foot item variables that correlated with toe-grip strength and walking speed.
Results: Prevalence of skin dryness and suspected and existing nail fungal infection was high in both sexes regardless of care level. Prevalence rate of toe deformity and arch deformity was significantly higher in men and women requiring long-term care, respectively. The multiple regression analysis using stepwise method indicated the right toe-grip strength had a statistically significant association with the arch deformity, suspected or existing nail fungal infection, and nail thickness of the right sided foot (p-value, 0·012, 0·034, 0·040 respectively). Coefficients of all independent variables were negative. Any independent variables were not selected from the left foot. The corn, callus and toe deformity of right sided foot was significantly associated with walking test (p-value, 0·026, 0·033 respectively).
Conclusions: Our study supported that individuals requiring more long-term care tend to have more foot problems. Some specific conditions were associated with toe-grip force and walking speed. This finding contributes to future strategies to protect foot health for community-dwelling older individuals, particularly the frail population.
Trial registration: Not Applicable