chronic wounds, leg ulcer, wound care, wound support network



  1. Bergersen, Tone Kristin MD PhD
  2. Storheim, Elisabeth MBA
  3. Gundersen, Stina BScN
  4. Kleven, Linn MPhil
  5. Johnson, Maria MSc
  6. Sandvik, Leiv Prof
  7. Kvaerner, Kari Jorunn Prof
  8. Orjasaeter, Nils-Otto Prof


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of a wound support network model between the primary home care service and the hospital. The impact on wound healing rate, cost benefit, and transfer of knowledge was investigated.


INTERVENTION: The intervention group was exposed to a wound support network (n = 32), and the control group continued standard organization of treatment (n = 21).


DESIGN: Nonrandomized controlled study; observations were made before (baseline) and after the implementation of the intervention (12 weeks).


PATIENTS: Patients with chronic wounds (lasting >6 weeks and with wound area >1 cm2) in Oslo, Norway.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Closure of the observation wound; wound size; total number of wounds; presence of eczema, edema, and pain; number of dressings per week; time spent per dressing; and number of control appointments at the hospital. The economic impact is calculated for the hospital and for the community of Oslo, Norway.


MAIN RESULTS: The number of control appointments (t = 3.80, P < .001) was significantly decreased, and the number of completed treatments (P = .02) was significantly increased after 12 weeks in the intervention group compared with the control group. A significant improvement was evident in the intervention group in terms of eczema (P = .02), edema (P = .03), and closing of the observational wound (46.7% cases in the intervention group versus 25.0% in the control group).


CONCLUSIONS: A wound support network between the primary home care service and the hospital is cost-effective, improves clinical efficacy of the home care services' work, and reduces the need for consultations at the hospital.