Evid Based Nurs 12:116 doi:10.1136/ebn.12.4.116
  • Treatment

Review: compression was effective for healing venous ulcers, and multicomponent systems were better than single-component ones


Do compression bandages or stockings help venous ulcer healing? Which compression bandage or stocking is most effective?

Review scope

Included studies were randomised controlled trials that assessed compression bandages or stockings for treating venous ulcers. Outcome was objectively measured ulcer healing.

Review methods

Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (all to Oct 2008); and reference lists were searched. Experts and pharmaceutical companies were contacted. 39 RCTs (47 comparisons) were included.

Main results

Compression v no compression (7 RCTs). 1 of 2 RCTs showed no benefit for compression over primary dressings; 1 RCT did not report complete healing. More patients had complete healing at 12 months with compression than with non-compressive bandages (1 RCT; relative benefit increase [RBI] 130%, 95% CI 43% to 341%; number needed to treat [NNT] 2, CI 2 to 4). 4 RCTs compared compression with usual care; 3 found a benefit for complete healing (1 RCT, RBI 300%, CI 54% to 1085%; NNT 2, CI 2 to 6; 1 RCT, 71% v 25%, p not reported) …

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