The quality of life of people who have chronic wounds and who self-treat Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of chronic wounds on the physical, emotional, social, lifestyle and financial domains of quality of life among people who self-treat their wounds.Patient-centred models of care have received increased attention over recent decades because of the potential to contribute positively to the patient's health and well-being. A contemporary understanding of the effect of chronic wounds on quality of life may assist care providers and healthcare systems to respond to patient needs and improve patient outcomes.A qualitative, exploratory study was conducted in Victoria, Australia. Participants were aged 18 years or older and had a chronic wound that was currently or previously self-treated. A sample of 25 participants was recruited from the community, and in-depth interviews were conducted in participants' homes. A thematic analysis was conducted to identify themes that represented the physical, emotional, social, lifestyle and financial domains of quality of life.Study participants (n = 25) were 71 years of age (average), and the majority had a leg wound. Participants experienced a negative effect on quality of life. Physical limitations affected activity and compromised the management of other health conditions. Participants felt frustrated with and distrusting of healthcare professionals from whom they received advice and care. Daily lifestyle and workforce participation were disrupted when receiving professional care. Wound treatment and professional care expenses negatively affected personal finances.Continued effort is required to develop relationships and treatment regimens that are conducive to healing and to optimise well-being. Additionally, healthcare systems should identify and address structural shortcomings of care services to create more patient-centred models of wound care in the community setting.

publication date

  • 2018