Leg ulcer intervention

Development and piloting of a targeted interprofessional education intervention to address therapeutic adherence of venous leg ulcer patients : a feasibility study

2016 - 2018

Background : Venous leg ulcers (VLU) are slow healing wounds. They have a high recurrence rate and are associated with pain, infection, smell and exudate. 60% of VLU become chronic. The signs and symptoms of VLU are not only a burden on those who are affected by it but also on the health care system and society in general. With a prevalence of 1% in the general population, the prevalence rises to 3% in the over 80 age group. The cost of treatment and care for VLU is estimated to be 2 – 3% of overall health expenditure. Current therapeutic approaches are multifaceted and focus on improving wound healing and preventing recurrences. As those approaches include compression therapy, leg elevation, specific exercises for the foot/ ankle region and a protein rich diet/ nutrition plan they require a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals such as nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nutrition specialists. Most VLU patients have a knowledge deficit in regards to the therapeutic measures and hence have difficulties with adherence to treatment protocols/ management plans. It is of utmost importance, and best practice, that the treatment team provides effective patient education and support during the learning phase. 

However, there is little evidence and no published studies that describe and evaluate effective multidisciplinary educational interventions that improve compliance/ adherence to the treatment plan in patients with VLU. We therefore propose to develop an evidence-based interdisciplinary educational intervention and evaluate its feasibility first in a pilot study and subsequently in a randomised controlled trail.

Method : Firstly development of an evidence based education intervention in collaboration with an expert panel and secondly a randomised controlled pilot study with 20 participants in one wound care outpatient clinic is proposed.

Data analysis : Data will be analysed using SPSS version 23. Univariate and bivariate analysis will be conducted according to the data level and distribution.

Expected benefit : The proposed study will firstly develop an evidenced based educational intervention and secondly examine the feasibility of implementing this education intervention in a realistic care context in patients with VLU. The results will inform the final design of a following RCT which will examine the effectiveness of the educational intervention. An intervention that enhances patient adherence to therapy and hence reduces the negative outcomes of VLU would be beneficial to individual patients as well as society as a whole.


Management of patients with venous leg ulcers: challenges and current best practice

Franks, P. J., Barker, J., Collier, M., Gethin, G., Haesler, E., Jawien, A., Laeuchli, S., Mosti, G., Probst, S., Weller, C.

(2016). Management of patients with venous leg ulcers: challenges and current best practice : Journal of Wound Care.


Auteur(s) : Sebastian Probst

Article scientifique

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