Objective: Leg ulcers can take a long time to heal and have a high recurrence rate. This study aims to describe the sociodemographic and medical profile, and therapeutic needs of patients with leg ulcers, and the benefits of care in a specialised leg ulcers outpatient clinic.
Method: This is a descriptive, cross-sectional pilot study of patients of a university hospital outpatient clinic. A sociodemographic and medical questionnaire and the Patient Benefit Index-wound (PBI-w) were used to collect data on the therapeutic needs (patient needs questionnaire, PNQ) and benefits of treatment (patient benefit questionnaire, PBQ) they received.
Results: A total of 32 patients with leg ulcers were recruited. Results demonstrated that a clear diagnosis and therapy, rapid wound closure and confidence in the therapy given are the most important treatment objectives for patients. Patients mentioned that their therapy benefitted most from confidence in the treatment given, decreased pain and being able to continue living normally. The PBI-w mean score was 2.93 (standard deviation=0.75) on a scale of zero ('did not help at all') to four ('helped a lot'). The PBI-w score showed that the patients benefitted from the treatment they received.
Conclusion: This pilot study showed the feasibility of using the PBI-w in practice in an outpatient clinic to assess patients' needs, which could help health professionals improve treatment and care for people with leg ulcers. The study also pointed towards the benefits of care for patients who consult specialised outpatient clinics.
Keywords: Patient Benefit Index-wound; leg ulcers; patient's benefit; patient's needs; pilot study; quality of care.