Impact of exudate and odour from chronic venous leg ulceration
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Impact of exudate and odour from chronic venous leg ulceration

June E Jones Tissue viability nurse, Sefton Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Southport PCT, Edge Hill University, Lancashire
Jude Robinson Senior lecturer, Health and Community Care Research Unit, University of Liverpool, Liverpool
Wally Barr Research fellow, Health and Community Care Research Unit, University of Liverpool, Liverpool
Caroline Carlisle Professor, Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, University of Manchester, Manchester

Aims To explore depression in people treated for chronic venous leg ulceration, and to assess the impact of excessive exudate, leading to leakage and odour, on their daily lives, overall health and quality of life.

Methods Completion of a questionnaire and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale to determine the prevalence of anxiety and depression in people with chronic leg ulceration (n=196), and interviews with 20 people living with chronic leg ulceration.

Findings Odour and excessive exudate leading to leakage had an adverse effect on patients’ psychological state, leading to feelings of disgust, self-loathing and low self-esteem.

Conclusion Chronic leg ulcers disrupt patients’ lives and restrict their social lives, leading to social isolation and depression. Healthcare professionals should better understand the impact of symptoms such as odour and exudate leakage on patients’ mental health, physical health and healing.

Nursing Standard. 22, 45,53-61. doi: 10.7748/ns2008.07.22.45.53.c6592

Correspondence

june.jones2@seftonpct.nhs.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review