PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Health Sciences I.

Healthcare staff’s perceptions of self-care monitoring for patients living with venous leg ulcers

Natali JOHNSSON1, Cecilia FAGERSTRÖM2, Catharina LINDBERG1, Hanna TUVESSON1.

1 Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Linnaeus University, Växjö, SWE
2 Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Linnaeus University, Kalmar, SWE

Text of the abstract

One percent of the global population is affected by venous leg ulcers, and up to 70 % of these ulcers recur. Ulcer recurrences can be prevented, if the patient uses self-care strategies and monitor these regularly. In Sweden, the healthcare system is evolving, requiring more specialized care in primary- and community-level settings, with a focus on patient participation and self-care. The healthcare staff has an important role in supporting patients self-care monitoring and follow-up their efforts. There is a lack of knowledge regarding how healthcare staff support patients’ self-care monitoring.
To describe healthcare staff ‘s perceptions and experiences of self-care monitoring for patients living with venous leg ulcers.
This study used a descriptive exploratory qualitative design. 24 healthcare professionals (RN, specialized district nurses, nurse assistants) were interviewed, and data was audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Nvivo 20 was used to conduct inductive thematic analysis.
Preliminary results from the analysis suggest that the healthcare staff encouraged patients to monitor their self-care during and after ulcer healing by emphasising their strengths and resources with the healthcare staff further supported the patients monitoring by repeating information and continue to educate them. Healthcare staff needed skills and strategies to be able to tailor follow-up questions for the specific patient. They experienced that follow-up of self-care monitoring after the VLU has healed was rarely done but they thought it ought to be. There were multiple impediments to non-follow-up, and some expressed wishes and suggestions for continued follow-up.
The healthcare staff has an essential role in activiating patients in self-care monitoring. in order to prevent recurrence of venous leg ulcers. It is crucial that healthcare staff continue to follow patients’ self-care monitoring after VLUs has healed and give them tailored support. There is need for more structured work processes for the follow-up and prevention of new ulcers.
This work was supported by the Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research, and Charity, Dnr #20190132.