Implementation of a leg ulcer strategy

Moffatt, Christine J. and Franks, Peter J. (2004) Implementation of a leg ulcer strategy. British Journal of Dermatology, 151 (4). pp. 857-865. ISSN 1365-2133

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Background  The care of patients with leg ulceration has developed over the past 15 years, although there is little information available to determine how these changes have affected clinical and patient defined outcomes.

To describe and evaluate the implementation of a leg ulcer strategy.

This study used a pre- and postimplementation evaluation within population-based services within the boundaries of community services providing leg ulcer care. Evidence-based leg ulcer services were developed, including standardized assessment using Doppler ultrasound, rationalization of treatment using multilayer elastic high compression, development of referral criteria and acute service support. Complete ulcer healing rates, health-related quality of life and use of health resources were evaluated after 12 weeks in both pre- and postimplementation cycles.

A total of 955 patients were evaluated (518 preimplementation, 437 postimplementation). The levels of assessment and treatment were poor prior to the change in practice with just one patient having evidence of correct assessment and 49 (11%) receiving high compression therapy. Postimplementation, this improved to 412 of 437 (94%) having evidence of measurement of the ankle brachial pressure index, and 85% receiving compression. Twelve-week healing rates preimplementation ranged between 9% and 24%, and postimplementation rose from 19% to 39%. Combined overall healing rates improved from 71 of 518 (14%) to 160 of 437 (37%), odds ratio =3·53, P < 0·001. Frequency of treatment visits reduced from a mean (SD) of 24·0 (16·1) over 12 weeks to 13·5 (8·6), P < 0·001. Intervention led to major improvements in health-related quality of life (measured using the Nottingham Health Profile), with significant improvements for energy, pain, sleep and mobility (P < 0·01).

Rationalization of leg ulcer services through a total service change results in improvements in professional practice, better patient outcomes, and efficient use of current resources. This study highlights the importance of a multifaceted approach to improve practice focused on the needs of individual organizational settings.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2004.06200.x
Keywords: Healing; Implementation; Leg ulceration; Quality of life; Service development
Subjects: Medicine and health > Clinical medicine
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2012 15:47
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:39

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