Evidence-based practice: tap water cleansing of leg ulcers in the community

J Clin Nurs. 2001 May;10(3):372-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2702.2001.00516.x.


To establish and encourage wound management practices based on evidence, a Community Nursing Organization in metropolitan Adelaide began a series of research initiatives in 1997. Based on the results of a wound management survey, and through the processes of participatory action research with clinicians, many wound management practice changes were instigated throughout the Community Nursing Organization. One question remains unanswered: What is the evidence for the use of sterile saline or clean tap water for cleansing of leg ulcers in the community? In this paper we describe a project where we applied the three principles of planning, action and evaluation. Application of these principles enabled clinicians to collaborate in the search for evidence to support or refute tap water cleansing of leg ulcers. To conclude, we report on a pilot research project undertaken to obtain further evidence either to support or refute the use of tap water cleansing for leg ulcers in the community.

MeSH terms

  • Asepsis / methods*
  • Asepsis / standards*
  • Community Health Nursing / methods*
  • Community Health Nursing / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Hydrotherapy / methods*
  • Hydrotherapy / nursing
  • Hydrotherapy / standards*
  • Leg Ulcer / nursing*
  • Nursing Evaluation Research*
  • Nursing Process
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Pilot Projects
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Skin Care / standards*
  • Sodium Chloride / therapeutic use
  • South Australia
  • Water / administration & dosage*


  • Water
  • Sodium Chloride