Evidence-based practice: tap water cleansing of leg ulcers in the community


Selim Research Nurse, Royal District Nursing Service, 31 Flemington St, Glenside South Australia 5065 (tel.: 08 8206 0071; e-mail: ps@rdns.sa.gov.au).


• To establish and encourage wound management practices based on evidence, a Community Nursing Organization in metropolitan Adelaide began a series of research initiatives in 1997.

• Based on the results of a wound management survey, and through the processes of participatory action research with clinicians, many wound management practice changes were instigated throughout the Community Nursing Organization.

• One question remains unanswered: What is the evidence for the use of sterile saline or clean tap water for cleansing of leg ulcers in the community?

• In this paper we describe a project where we applied the three principles of planning, action and evaluation.

• Application of these principles enabled clinicians to collaborate in the search for evidence to support or refute tap water cleansing of leg ulcers.

• To conclude, we report on a pilot research project undertaken to obtain further evidence either to support or refute the use of tap water cleansing for leg ulcers in the community.