The experience of self-management following venous leg ulcer healing Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The aim of the study was to explore the experiences of older people as they self-managed following venous leg ulcer healing. The objectives were to describe the beliefs, attitudes, actions, enablers and barriers to self-management and to consider the impact of an e-learning client education package on how people approach recurrence prevention.Venous leg ulcers affect 1% of people worldwide and more than 3% of older people. Up to 70% of ulcers reoccur. Appreciation of the experience of self-management following healing can equip health services to more effectively prepare people for self-management in the longer term.A descriptive exploratory design was used.Older people who had received an e-learning education programme while their venous ulcer was active were interviewed after healing from July-September 2010. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.Participants believed in the efficacy of compression therapy, skin care, activity and exercise and healthy eating to prevent recurrence, and engage in activities that reflect recommendations of the education. As beliefs and conduct of self-management activities can change over time, regular professional monitoring and support would assist people to refine health goals, plan self-management activities and prevent recurrence.Participation in a standardised education programme completed prior to healing informed successful self-management strategies among people who seek to prevent venous leg ulcer recurrence. Further research should consider the benefits of regular, ongoing professional monitoring and support among this group.Clinicians have a role in supporting their clients to know about, perform and believe in the importance of self-management strategies for healing and recurrence prevention. Clinicians require the capacity to support clients which standardised client education tools can facilitate.

publication date

  • 2015