To ascertain the number of home care patients with wounds, determine the types of wounds being treated in the community, and identify wound care treatments used at home.
Descriptive, multisite, collaborative project
13 home care agencies located throughout lower Michigan that had voluntarily formed a research consortium. The location of patients visited was 43% urban, 39% suburban, 16% rural, and 2% unaccounted.
Systematic sampling was used to select nurses in each agency to collect data. Nurses (n= 281) recorded information about adult patients visited during the 1 week of the study. Data were recorded about 2847 patients,Mage = 72.5 years. They included 1793 women and 1040 men (gender was not recorded for 14 patients); most patients in the sample (72%) were white.
MAIN PLANNED OUTCOMES:
A significant number of home visits would include wound care and that wound care would be primarily done with tap water and gauze.
Wounds were present in 36.3% of patients. Of the patients with wounds, 58.3% had 1 wound and 41.7% had multiple wounds. Wound types included surgical (62.4%), pressure ulcers (24.9%), and vascular leg ulcers (22.2%). Tap water and gauze were the most-used wound care treatments. Patients with wounds had significantly longer home care visits than patients without wounds.
Patients with wounds are commonly found in home care. There is a low utilization of specialty dressings and commercial irrigation solutions across all wound types. Nurses who follow patients with wounds may need additional time to provide the care.
ADV WOUND CARE 1999;12:117-26.