Healing determinants in older people with leg ulcers


  • Dr. Maree Johnson RN, MApplSci, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Director of the Graduate Nurse Research and Practice Unit, University of Western Sydney, Macarthes and the South Western Sydney Area Health Service, Sydney, Australia
    • Director, G.N.R.P.U., Liverpool Hospital, P.O. Box 103, Liverpool, NSW 2710, Australia
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A descriptive correlational design was used to identify the physiologic, therapeutic, and psychosocial determinants of leg ulcer healing in community-residing older people with venous and venous-arterial disease (N = 156). A regression model with healing rate as the dependent variable explained 49% of the variance. Increased pain when mobilizing, increased hours with limbs horizontal to the torso, and moderate and severe liposclerosis (hardening and induration of the skin) were associated with poorer healing rates. Higher wound status scores were associated with more rapid healing rates. Self-efficacy beliefs and social support were not significant factors. The findings suggest the need for early detection and management of limb pain that interferes with normal mobility. Limb position and edema assessment prior to the application of compression bandages is recommended, with bandages that provide clients with high compression when ambulant and low compression when resting being potentially beneficial. ©1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.