The views of patients living with healed venous leg ulcers
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The views of patients living with healed venous leg ulcers

Elaine Flaherty Clinical nurse specialist – tissue viability, Newham Primary Care Trust, London

Aim To examine the views of patients with a diagnosis of venous insufficiency who had experienced at least one episode of venous ulceration that had been treated and healed.

Method Ten participants (five female, five male) were recruited from a community-based healed leg ulcer clinic. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants. The interview data were then transcribed and analysed for themes and patterns.

Findings Three themes emerged: symptoms, treatment and coping mechanisms, each with sub-themes. Long-term pain, changes in body image, limitations to lifestyle and difficulties with treatment were described by participants. Level of knowledge was found to be related to the coping measures demonstrated by participants, which included non-acceptance and normalisation.

Conclusion Future developments and reviews of existing services in the overall management of patients with venous ulceration need to include a shift of emphasis to encompass the chronic nature of the underlying disease, with socially acceptable interventions aimed at controlling or limiting the consequences to the patient.

Nursing Standard. 19, 45, 78-89. doi: 10.7748/ns2005.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review