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J Clin Nurs. 2009 Jun;18(11):1541-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02648.x.

A randomised controlled trial of a community nursing intervention: improved quality of life and healing for clients with chronic leg ulcers.

Author information

1
Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Qld, Australia. edwards@qut.edu.au

Abstract

AIMS AND OBJECTIVE:

The negative impact of chronic leg ulcers on quality of life is well documented. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a new community nursing model of care on quality of life, morale, depression, self-esteem, social support, healing, pain and functional ability of clients with chronic venous leg ulcers.

BACKGROUND:

Venous leg ulcers are slow to heal, frequently recur and are associated with pain, restricted mobility and decreased quality of life. Although chronic wound care consumes a large proportion of community nursing time and health care resources, there is little evidence available on the effectiveness of differing models of community care for this population.

DESIGN:

Randomised controlled trial.

METHODS:

We recruited a sample of 67 participants with venous leg ulcers referred for care to a community nursing organisation in Queensland, Australia after obtaining informed consent. Participants were randomised to either the Lindsay Leg Club model of care (n = 34), emphasising socialisation and peer support; or the traditional community nursing model (n = 33) consisting of individual home visits by a registered nurse. Participants in both groups were treated by a core team of nurses using identical research protocols based on short-stretch compression bandage treatment. Data were collected at baseline, 12 and 24 weeks from commencement.

RESULTS:

Participants who received care under the Leg Club model demonstrated significantly improved outcomes in quality of life (p = 0.014), morale (p < 0.001), self-esteem (p = 0.006), healing (p = 0.004), pain (p = 0.003) and functional ability (p = 0.044).

CONCLUSION:

In this sample, the evaluation of the Leg Club model of care shows potential to improve the health and well-being of clients who have chronic leg ulcers.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

These results suggest further evaluation and implementation of this model is warranted by community health organisations involved in the care of this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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