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J Wound Care. 2004 Jun;13(6):209-13.

Does leg ulcer treatment improve patients' quality of life?

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St Charles Hospital, Exmoor Street, London W10 6DZ.



To investigate the impact of 'disease' and treatment on quality of life in patients with venous leg ulceration.


Sixty-five patients with venous leg ulcers were recruited and treated. At study entry and exit or following complete wound closure, whichever occurred first, each patient was assessed using the SF-36 quality-of-life questionnaire. Data analysis included an investigation of the study population as whole, differences between patients whose ulcers did and did not heal and between gender and age. Health domain means for all patients were compared with age equivalent norms (AENs) at both entry and exit.


There was a significant improvement in the SF-36 domains of bodily pain, health transition, mental health and social functioning for all 65 patients. Patients whose ulcers healed also showed a statistically significant improvement in the vitality domain. Patients whose ulcers did not heal had statistically significant improved scores for bodily pain and health transition. At entry all SF-36 values, except for general health, were lower than the AENs. On exit, scores for bodily pain, general health and mental health were comparable with the AEN; values for the remaining five domains increased at exit.


The results highlight that good wound management and effective compression therapy can improve quality of life in patients with venous leg ulceration, whether or not the patient's leg ulcer healed following treatment.

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