British Leprosy Relief Association
The validity and reliability of a simple semantic classification of foot posture
aAmerican Leprosy Missions, Box 002 Mail and More, 2nd Level, Paseo Marina, Ayala Center, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, The Philippines
bAmerican Leprosy Missions, Regional (Americas & Africa) Prevention of Disability Consultant
Correspondence to: Hugh A. Cross B.Sc. (pod) Ph.D., Box 002, Mail and More, Paseo Marina, Second Level, Ayala Center, Cebu Business Park, Cebu 6000, The Philippines (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Simple Semantic Classification (SSC) is described as a pragmatic method to assist in the assessment of the weight bearing foot. It was designed for application by therapists and technicians working in underdeveloped situations, after they have had basic orientation in foot function.
To present evidence of the validity and inter observer reliability of the SSC.
13 physiotherapists from LEPRA India projects and 12 physical therapists functioning within the National Programme for the Elimination of Hansen’s Disease (PNEH), Brazil, participated in an inter-observer exercise. Inter-observer agreement was gauged using the Kappa statistic. The results of the inter-observer exercise were dependent on observations of foot posture made from photographs. This was necessary to ensure that the procedure was standardised for participants in different countries. The method had limitations which were partly reflected in the results.
The level of agreement between the principle investigator and Indian physiotherapists was Kappa = 0.58. The level of agreement between Brazilian physical therapists and the principle investigator was Kappa = 0.70.
The authors opine that the results were sufficiently compelling to suggest that the Simple Semantic Classification can be used as a field method to identify people at increased risk of foot pathologies.