Patient Education for the prevention of venous leg ulceration

Review objective: To determine the impact of patient educational interventions on the prevention of venous leg ulceration. The population for this review will include people over 18 years with a history of venous leg ulceration in any healthcare setting. Venous leg ulceration occurs as a result of impaired return of venous blood from the tissues to the heart as a result of venous outflow obstruction, valvular insufficiency or calf muscle pump failure (Briggs and Closs, 2003). In Ireland, it is estimated that €9.9 million is spent annually on leg ulcer management (Posnett and Franks, 2008). Recurrence rates are poorly researched, as there is no consensus on the definition of recurrence (Nelson et al.2000). However, some studies report a variation in rates from 10% to 69% at twelve months (Harper et al. 1995; Moffatt 1995). A 2006 study found that up to 28% of people with venous leg ulcers had up to ten episodes of ulceration (Vowden and Vowden, 2009). Interestingly, this study also found that for people who did not comply with compression stockings post healing all had a recurrence within 36 months. A change in the focus of leg ulcer care is needed with a focus on prevention of recurrence and self-management in order to enable patients to engage in preventative behaviours. The National Best Practice and Evidence Based Guidelines (2009), although outlining the importance of education, do not currently recommend a specific formal education programme. Therefore, it is with this background that I propose to carry out a systematic review of the available literature to explore the impact of patient educational interventions on the prevention of venous leg ulceration.

Award Date
30 September 2013
Award Value
€51,042
Principal Investigator
Ms Emer Shanley
Host Institution
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Scheme
Cochrane Training Fellowships