The attendee (relatives) profile of clubfoot child for initiating treatment is probably a gross measure of family responsibility and social awareness regarding the disease in Indian circumstances. We conducted a prospective pilot study with primary research question “Who brings the clubfeet patient to the clubfeet clinic?” Further, the patients were followed up to 7 visits to see any gross changes in the attendee trend. The involvement of second-degree relatives was also closely monitored.
The CURE counselors recorded the relatives accompanying the newly enrolled clubfoot patients (July–December 2017). Patients already in follow-up, with irregular follow-up, lost to follow-up, and not willing to participate in the study were excluded. For the purpose of statistical analysis, the total opportunities to accompany patient (100 patients × 7 visits = 700 occasions) were taken as the base measurement.
Out of 100 studied patients, only 39 children sought treatment within 6 weeks. Mother accompanied the child most (88.5%) followed by father (71.7%) ( p < 0.000001). Both parents accompanied the child on 62.4% occasions. The second-degree relatives accompanied the child on 32.7% occasions ( p < 0.000001). The most persistent attendee over 7 weeks was child's mother, followed by father and next by parents together. The second-degrees relatives were least persistent of all.
Our study showed a high percentage of parental participation and its persistence during the casting phase of Ponseti method in Indian clubfoot children. There seems to be a lot of scope for further community education and awareness in view of the relatively older child being brought for treatment and lesser involvement of second-degree relatives.