Use of elastic compression stockings after deep venous thrombosis: a comparison of practices and perceptions of thrombosis physicians and patients

J Thromb Haemost. 2003 Mar;1(3):500-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1538-7836.2003.00098.x.


Daily long-term use of elastic compression stockings (ECS) by patients with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) may help to prevent the post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). However, the effectiveness of ECS in clinical practice is difficult to predict, since the practices and perceptions of patients and thrombosis physicians regarding ECS have not been documented. The objectives were to survey DVT patients and thrombosis physicians on their practices and perceptions regarding use of ECS after DVT, and to evaluate whether physician perceptions are supported by patient responses. Two surveys were conducted. The first was sent to 38 Canadian thrombosis physicians. The second was administered to 80 DVT patients attending Thrombosis Clinic at one of two Canadian university-affiliated hospitals. Most physicians believed that ECS were useful in preventing PTS and in managing venous symptoms. However, there was a lack of consensus regarding the optimal timing of initiation of ECS, duration of therapy, and compression strength, and only one-third routinely prescribed ECS to asymptomatic patients to prevent PTS. Most DVT patients who were prescribed ECS purchased them, 87% wore them daily, and most reported that ECS relieved swelling and symptoms. Physicians underestimated the degree of patient compliance with ECS, but correctly identified the main reasons for non-compliance. There is a lack of consensus among thrombosis physicians regarding ECS use after DVT. Patients with DVT are willing to comply with ECS therapy and most find them to be helpful. Our findings suggest that long-term study of the optimal use of ECS after DVT is both necessary and feasible.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bandages / economics
  • Bandages / standards
  • Bandages / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patients
  • Physicians
  • Syndrome
  • Venous Thrombosis / therapy*