1. McGuckin, Maryanne Dr ScEd, MT (ASCP)
  2. Williams, Liz BA, DN
  3. Brooks, Jill BA (HONS, RGN, DN)
  4. Cherry, George PhD


OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of guidelines on vascular assessment, compression usage, dressing selection, and healing rates of patients with a venous ulcer.


DESIGN: Prospective descriptive intervention evaluation.


SETTING: Oxfordshire Community National Health Service (NHS) Trust, United Kingdom.


PATIENTS: 40 consecutive prospective patients seen by Oxfordshire district nurses, either at home or at a wound clinic coordinated by district nurses located in a surgery office.


INTERVENTION: The Guideline for Diagnosis and Treatment of Venous Leg Ulcers (University of Pennsylvania) and the Oxfordshire Leg Ulcer Guideline.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Time to healing, compliance with vascular assessment, compression usage, and nursing costs.


MAIN RESULTS: 91% of patients had a vascular assessment; all patients were treated with compression. Mean time to healing was 8 weeks and was not related to dressing selection or type of compression (short- versus long-stretch bandage). Nursing costs were slightly higher for wounds that healed after 12 weeks and were treated with a long-stretch bandage ([pounds]170.00 [$250.00] vs [pounds]272.00 [$395.00]).


CONCLUSION: Use of compression was influenced by guidelines that emphasize a vascular assessment. Choice of dressing or type of compression was not a significant factor in healing rates.