Validity and reliability of the Australian Therapy Outcome Measures - Physiotherapy, for podiatry (AusTOMs-PT for use in podiatry)

Cylie M. Williams, Nina Davies, Jessica Kolic, Antoni Caserta, Alicia M. James, Carolyn Unsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Valid and reliable outcome measure enable measurement of health care service impact. There are limited valid and reliable outcome measures for use in podiatry practice to measure the impact of treatment. This research aimed to test the face validity of the AusTOMs for Physiotherapy (AusTOMs-PT), it's adaptability to podiatry clinical practice and the reliability of its use with podiatrists. Methods: Stage 1 used a nominal group technique with podiatrists who worked in public and/or private settings. All podiatrists underwent self-directed training in the AusTOMs framework and measures prior to interviews or focus group discussion. Discussion was centred about transferability of the core scales of the AusTOMs-PT and an adjunct measure, AusTOMs for Occupational Therapy (AusTOMs-OT) to podiatry practice. Stage 2 used 10 case studies representative of people who had foot or ankle concerns. Podiatrists were recruited and trained in the use of the relevant AusTOMs-PT scales. Podiatrists individually scored the cases at two timepoints (1 month apart) using the six scales from the AusTOMs-PT deemed by stage 1 as relevant to podiatry. Intra and inter-rater reliability of scales were determined using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Results: Thirteen podiatrists participated in individual or focus group interviews in Stage 1. Consensus was gained on six of the nine core scales adopted from the AusTOMs-PT. These were 1. Balance and Postural Control, 3. Musculoskeletal Movement Related Functions, 4. Neurological Movement Related Functions, 5. Pain, 7. Sensory Functions, 8. Skin Functions. Each core scale rated the functional domains of Impairment, Activity Limitation, Participation Restriction and Wellbeing/Distress relating to that presentation of goals of the person in the case study. There were 22 podiatrists complete training and scored two rounds of case studies using the six scales in Stage 2. There were 91%(n = 20) participants with an intra-rater ICC > 0.5 (moderate or greater). Each domain had an inter-rater reliability of > 0.9 (excellent) during the first round. Conclusions: The AusTOMs-PT for use in podiatry may be implemented to record change in impairment, function, participation and wellbeing of people receiving podiatry treatment. Podiatry specific training and mentoring, together with repeated use could be expected to improve intra-reliability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2020


  • Assessment
  • Functional measures
  • Outcome measure

Cite this