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Factors that effect compression hosiery selection

5th April 2013

Stephen-Haynes J, Sykes R (2013) Audit of the use of compression hosiery in two NHS Trusts. Wounds UK 9(1): 16–20

Compression therapy is considered standard treatment for venous leg ulceration and hosiery is extremely important for preventing recurrence. It also helps reduce oedema and prevents deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This audit looks at the decision-making process of nurses when choosing hosiery. It involved 42 nurses at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, which has a wound care formulary that assists hosiery selection. Questionnaires asked why compression hosiery was selected and 83% reported using it for the prevention of ulcer recurrence and the control of chronic oedema was a close second. However, the audit showed that only 29% of respondents were using the correct type of hosiery — those with a high stiffness index —  as stated in the formulary for patients with oedema. 98% used hosiery that had a British Standard classification. Other factors that affected the type of hosiery chosen include:

  • Concordance
  • Size and fit
  • Formulary listings.

Only 7% used leg ulcer treatment kits, although 50% prescribed hosiery for leg ulcers. Half of the respondents chose hosiery to prevent venous leg ulceration.

The authors conclude that the audit will inform the future management of chronic oedema at the trust as well as the use of leg ulcer treatment kits. They state that the audit indicated a need for further training and practice development for nurses at the trust.

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