Encouraging patients to self-care – the preliminary development and validation of the VeLUSET©, a self-efficacy tool for venous leg ulcer patients, aged 60 years and over

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Venous leg ulceration has a high recurrence rate. Patients with healed or frequently recurring venous ulceration are required to perform self-care behaviours to prevent recurrence or promote healing, but evidence suggests that many find these difficult to perform. Bandura's self-efficacy theory is a widely used and robust behaviour change model and underpins many interventions designed to promote self-care in a variety of chronic conditions. By identifying areas where patients may experience difficulty in performing self-care, interventions can be developed to strengthen their self-efficacy beliefs in performing these activities successfully. There are currently a variety of self-efficacy scales available to measure self-efficacy in a variety of conditions; but not a disease-specific scale for use with venous ulcer patients. The aim of this study, therefore, was to develop and validate a disease-specific, patient-focused self-efficacy scale for patients with healed venous leg ulceration. This scale will need further validation studies; however, it is ready for use in clinical practice and will enable practitioners to identify those patients who may need additional support in performing self-care activities to prevent recurrence.

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