Instruction of Compression Therapy by Means of Interface Pressure Measurement


  • J. Hafner, MD, W. Lüthi, MD, H. Hänssle, MD, G. Kammerlander, and G. Burg, MD have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jürg Hafner, MD, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland, or e-mail:


Background. Compression therapy of the leg is the cornerstone in the conservative treatment of venous ulcers. The application of compression bandages, however, is largely a matter of personal experience.

Objective. To evaluate the interface pressure under compression bandages and to improve the technique.

Methods. Six courses on wound healing with 24–28 participants as well as individual training at our hospital were provided. Interface pressure at the distal medial calf was measured using a simple, but accurate pressure sensor that was built for this purpose (accuracy: ±3 mmHg).

Results. During the wound healing courses, the absolute difference from the target pressure of 35–45 mmHg improved from 8.4 mmHg (95% CI 0.0–34.1) to 3.5 mmHg (95% CI 0.0–14.0) (P = .0001). After four sessions, interface pressures greater than 60 mmHg were avoided. During individual training, even nurses with everyday experience in compression therapy improved their accuracy.

Conclusion. There is a need for objective measurement of interface pressure in the teaching of compression therapy with bandages. The principles can be taught during a few exercises. However, repeated practice over a longer period of time is necessary to reach a certain accuracy.