A holistic profile that includes demographic, medical history and wound characteristics of individuals with venous leg ulceration is lacking. Lack of such a profile negatively impacts the ability to develop interventions to improve patient outcomes.
To describe the profile of the patient population with venous leg ulceration from published observational (non-interventional) studies and to identify gaps in the knowledge base for future research in this area.
A systematic review of observational studies that included more than 50 patients, from any world region, of any age and in any care setting.
twenty studies, involving 3395 patients, from all world regions met our criteria. Demographic characteristics were well reported and showed a female to male ratio of 1.2:1, average age of 47-65 years, high levels of co-morbidities including hypertension (53-71%) and diabetes (16-20%), and only one study reporting ethnicity. When reported, approximately 4-30% had high levels of depression. The average wound size was 18.6-43.39 cm2; mean wound duration was 13.8-65.5 months, mean number of recurrences was four. No study reported on demographic factors plus medical history plus wound characteristics together.
a comprehensive, holistic profile of the population with VLU is lacking. There is a critical need for more comprehensive profiling to enable the development of targeted interventions to improve outcomes.