Changes to the feet of institutionalized elderly persons

Abstract Objective: The present study aimed to identify the most frequent changes to the feet of institutionalized elderly persons. Method: A descriptive study was conducted with elderly persons living in long-term care facilities in the city of Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. A total of 174 people aged 60 years and over of both genders were surveyed regardless of health conditions. Those with amputations, burns or who were undergoing surgery of the lower limbs were excluded. Data were collected through the application of a structured questionnaire containing sociodemographic variables (age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, schooling, main occupation) and variables related to alterations of the feet (nail, dermatological and bone deformities). The Manchester Scale was subsequently applied to evaluate the degree of hallux deformity. Results: The most frequent nail deformities were onychomycosis, onychogryphosis, onycholysis, onychosclerosis; the dermatological findings were callosities, especially interdigital and bromhidrosis; the most prevalent bone deformities were pes cavus and transverse arches. In the assessment of hallux valgus, according to the Manchester Scale, painful feet (38.5%), mild deformities (35.6%) and no deformities (25.3%) were identified. Conclusion: The results suggest signs of neglect of the health of the feet of institutionalized elderly persons. There should be more investment in the training of teams responsible for care.