Development of the consensus-based recommendations for Podiatry care of Neuropathy In Cancer Survivors (PodNICS): a Delphi consensus study of Australian podiatrists

Sindhrani Dars, Elizabeth Buckley, Kerri Beckmann, David Roder, Helen Banwell

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Abstract

Background: Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) is the most common presenting side effect of chemotherapy. As a sensory based neuropathy, this condition can persist for a long time after cessation of chemotherapy and impact the quality of life of cancer survivors. Podiatrists in Australia have been managing people with CIPN related lower limb complications, however guidelines on management of CIPN do not exist. The aim of this study was to achieve consensus and agreement of Australian podiatrists on strategies to best manage people presenting with symptoms of CIPN. Methods: An online three-round modified Delphi survey of Australian podiatrists with expertise in CIPN was conducted in line with recommendations for conducting and reporting of Delphi studies (CREDES). Panellists responded to open-ended questions in Round 1, whereupon their responses were themed into statements and analysed for existing consensus. Statements not reaching consensus were returned during Round 2 to seek agreement from responders using a five-point Likert scale and to allow responders to make further comments. For a statement to reach consensus or agreement, 70% or more of panellists needed to make the same comment or agree or strongly agree with the same themed statement. Statements reaching 50 to 69% consensus or agreement were returned to panellists in Round 3 for them to consider their responses in the light of group outcomes. Results: Round one resulted in 229 comments from 21 of 26 podiatrists who agreed to participate. These comments were themed into 53 statements with 11 consensus statements accepted. Round 2 resulted in 22 statements reaching agreement, and 15 new statements being generated from 18 comments made by 17 respondents. Round 3 resulted in 11 statements reaching agreement. Outcomes were developed into a set of clinical recommendations for diagnosis and management of people presenting with CIPN. These recommendations provide guidance on 1) identifying common signs and symptoms of CIPN including sensory, motor and autonomic symptoms; 2) diagnosis and assessment of CIPN including neurological, motor and dermatological assessment modalities; and 3) best clinical practice and management strategies for CIPN identified by podiatrists including both podiatry and non-podiatry specific care. Conclusions: This is the first study in podiatry literature to develop expert-informed consensus-based recommendations for clinical presentation, diagnosis and assessment and management of people with CIPN. These recommendations aim to help guide podiatrists in the consistent care of people with CIPN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Research
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agreement
  • Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Consensus
  • Delphi survey
  • Podiatry

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