The purpose of this study was to evaluate patients' knowledge of chronic venous disease, venous ulcer occurrence and recurrence, and self-care at baseline, immediately following, 2, and 9 weeks after an educational intervention.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING:
The study sample comprised 30 patients diagnosed with venous ulcers. The research setting was an outpatient facility specializing in wound care located in South Florida; the educational intervention occurred in subjects' homes.
Single group before and after intervention research design.
Patients diagnosed with a first-time venous ulcer were assessed regarding their disease and self-care knowledge. Assessments were completed at baseline, immediately following an educational intervention, and during 2- and 9-week follow-up home visits. In addition to evaluating patient knowledge, wound healing (evaluated by the treating nurse or reported by the patient) was assessed at 2- and 9-week follow-up and wound recurrence was assessed at 9-week follow-up.
The educational intervention resulted in a statistically significant increase in knowledge scores (P = .002). This change persisted when patients were evaluated during 2- and 9-week follow-up visits (P = .003). In addition, half of patients who completed the educational intervention remained free of recurrence when evaluated at 9 weeks.
Results suggest that patient education related to venous ulcers improves knowledge regarding the disease process and self-care and reduces recurrence when measured at 9 weeks postintervention.