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Switching from galenic to advanced dressings or VAC therapy can improve quality of life of patients with chronic non-responsive pressure skin ulcers: preliminary data with Italian translation of WOUND-Q.

OBJECTIVE: A few studies have focused on the QoL of patients with chronic non-responsive pressure skin ulcers. The aim of this study was to assess how correct treatment (AWC dressings alone or VAC therapy alone) changes the quality of life of these patients.

APPROACH: 106 patients with chronic non-responsive pressure skin ulcers, who had previously used galenic dressings, applied without proper therapeutic indication, were included in this study. We administered the WOUND-Q, at time 0 and after one month of appropriate therapy, to assess PROMs. Group 1 consisted of 30 patients treated with advanced dressings, Group 2: 22 patients treated with VAC therapy and Group 3: 30 patients continuing conventional galenic dressings (Control group). Statistical analysis allowed us to analyze QoL changes over time and to compare WOUND-Q Group 1 and 2 deltas with those of Group 3. The study followed the STROBE statement.

RESULTS AND INNOVATION: In all the scales evaluated (Assessment, Drainage, Smell, Life impact, Psychological, Social, Sleep and Dressing) there were significant improvements in mean values for Group 1 and 2. Kruskal-Wallis tests with Dunn's multiple comparisons tests and Brown-Forsythe and Welch ANOVA tests demonstrated significant differences between deltas of Group 1 and Group 2 compared with those of Group 3 for most scales analyzed.

CONCLUSIONS: Administration of the WOUND-Q demonstrated that the application of advanced dressings alone or VAC therapy alone positively affects the quality of life of patients with chronic nonresponsive pressure wounds, in comparison with galenic dressings alone. The WOUND-Q has been shown to be a valid tool in studying changes in quality of life of these patients.

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