The Clinical Effectiveness of Two Compression Stocking Treatments on Venous Leg Ulcer Recurrence: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Venous leg ulcers affect up to 3% of people aged 65 years and older, present significant pain and suffering, and are associated with long episodes of health care. These chronic wounds recur at rates of up to 69%. A double blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in a home nursing setting in Victoria, Australia to compare the effectiveness of a 23 to 32 mm Hg (moderate) and a 34 to 46 mm Hg (high) compression stocking treatment on venous ulcer recurrence. Participants (n = 100) were monitored for 26 weeks. Study wound recurrence was low (11.8%), and the average time to recurrence was 77.91 days. Adherence to treatment was low (44%) with nonadherence significantly higher in the high-compression stocking group, χ2(1) = 8.827, P = .003. Regression modeling found that adherence to treatment significantly predicted study wound recurrence, Wald(1) = 7.917, P = .005. Estimated hazard ratios showed that participants who did not adhere were 9 times more likely to have their wound recur. Risk of recurrence was 3 times greater for those randomized to moderate compression when compared with the high-compression stocking. Implementing strategies that optimize adherence to compression will reduce ulcer recurrence. Once this has been realized, the potential to adhere to high-compression treatment would further reduce the risk of recurrence.

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