Aim: Although compression therapy is the corner stone of phlebological therapy, less is known about the patients' view of compression. The aim of the study was to answer the following questions: Are there differences in the use of compression and the quality of life during compression therapy depending on the device (bandages, stocking [medical compression stockings, MCS], length, compression class) or indication of compression?
Methods: Questioning of 200 consecutive phlebological patients (C2-C6) with a compression therapy time of >2 weeks. Analysis of 110 returned questionnaires (rate of return 55%).
Results: Twenty-nine point one percent voted the therapy as "comfortable". About 37% of the patients had an improvement of their leg symptoms by using compression therapy. Most patients (105/110) wore their compression therapy for more than 6 hours/day. The main side effects were dryness of the skin (58.5%), itching (32.7%), slipping (29.1%) or constriction of the compression device (24.5%). There were no significant differences in the side effect spectrum or the usage according to the type of compression device or the indication for the treatment (varicose surgery/ sclerotherapy). Patients with a leg ulcer and longer duration of compression therapy experienced a worse quality of life.
Conclusions: Patients accept the recommended compression therapy (alone or in combination with other phlebological therapies) as a necessary therapy. Compression devices are really used by the patients. According to the main side effect (dryness of the skin), improvement is essential (skin care, caring MCS). Especially patients with indication for a long-term or even life-long compression therapy should be advised in detail.