To evaluate self-esteem and body image in patients with venous leg ulcers (VLUs).DESIGN:
A multicenter, prospective, descriptive, analytical, clinical study.SETTINGS:
A nursing care and education center of a university hospital, a health center, and an outpatient wound care clinic in Brazil.PATIENTS:
Fifty-nine consecutive adult patients with VLUs and Doppler ankle-brachial index ranging from 0.8 to 1.0 were recruited for the study. Exclusion criteria were mixed ulcers, arterial ulcers, and diabetic foot ulcers.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
A questionnaire assessing sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients, the Brazilian version of the Body Investment Scale, and the Rosenberg Self-esteem (RSE)/UNIFESP-EPM (São Paulo da Universidade Federal de São Paulo–Escola Paulista de Medicina) scale were administered to all patients.MAIN RESULTS:
Most participants were women, aged between 60 and 70 years, and smokers; 33 (56%) were divorced, widowed, or single, and 26 (44%) were married. The patients had the ulcer for a mean of 5.42 years. Exudate and foul odor were present in most cases. Twenty-one ulcers (36%) measured 29 cm2 or less in surface area, and 17 (29%) ulcers measured between 30 and 49 cm2 (mean, 3.39 cm2). The mean RSE score was 22.66, indicating low self-esteem. The mean Body Investment Scale total score was 27.49, and the scores on the body image and body touch subscales were also low, indicating negative feelings about the body.CONCLUSION:
Patients with VLUs had low self-esteem and negative feelings about their bodies.