Pain, oedema and healing in venous ulcer patients treated with lymphotherapy

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Abstract

Background

Pain and oedema are common symptoms in patients with venous ulcers.

Objectives

To evaluate the benefits of lymphotherapy as an additional intervention to compression therapy in venous ulcer treatment.

Methods

Quasi-experimental study comparing lymphotherapy in combination with compression therapy (intervention) to dressings alone (control) for venous ulcer treatment. The outcomes of the study were pain, oedema and healing. The sample comprised of 67 venous ulcer patients in total, with 31 allocated to the intervention group and 36 to the control group. The instruments included a sociodemographic form, physiotherapy assessment, numerical pain rating scale, Godet test and a wound contraction measurement.

Results

The intervention group demonstrated a significant reduction in pain intensity (P>0.001), oedema (P>0.001) and ulcer area (P=0.004), and a significant increase in ulcer contraction (P>0.001) when compared with the control group at the end of 6 months.

Conclusions

The intervention group showed a significant reduction in pain and oedema, and a significant improvement in wound healing when compared to the control group from the third month of treatment, thus confirming the benefits of this therapy.

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