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Patients' experiences of healing a venous ulcer were described as “forever healing” which affected their activities and treatment

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Question How do patients experience life with a venous leg ulcer (a leg ulcer caused by chronic venous insufficiency)?




An ambulatory surgical clinic in an urban teaching hospital.


37 of 54 patients, whose venous ulcer dressings were changed weekly by clinic nurses, agreed to participate in the study. Patients were usually treated using an Unna's boot.


Data were collected for 1 year and included weekly measurements of wound size using acetate tracings; activity and pain logs kept by 12 patients; medical chart reviews for concomitant conditions, previous ulcers, and related emergency department and hospital admissions; and weekly participant observation sessions with patients to follow the course of healing over time. 7 patients were interviewed using open ended questions about their experience of venous ulcers. Interviews and …

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  • Source of funding: Office of Research Administration, Boston College.

  • For article reprint: Dr S K Chase, School of Nursing, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02167–3812, USA. Fax +1 617 552 0745.