A new quality of life consultation template for patients with venous leg ulceration
Chronic venous leg ulcers (CVLUs) are common and recurrent, however, care for patients predominantly has a focus which overlooks the impact of the condition on quality of life. The aim of this study was to develop a simple, evidence-based consultation template, with patients and practitioners, which focuses consultations on quality of life themes.
A nominal group was undertaken to develop a new consultation template for patients with CVLUs based on the findings of earlier qualitative study phases.
A user-friendly two-sided A4 template was designed to focus nurse-patient consultations on the quality of life challenges posed by CVLUs.
CVLUs impact negatively on the quality of life of the patient but this receives inadequate attention during current consultations. This new template will help to ensure that key concerns are effectively raised, explored and addressed during each consultation.
Chronic venous leg ulcers (CVLUs) impact significantly on every area of patient functioning (Fig 1);1 and yet, despite these wide-ranging effects, patients are reluctant to disclose the extent of their difficulties to their district nurse (DN).2 Theories relating to the personal characteristics of patients attempt to explain their responses to chronic conditions which include a reluctance to disclose key factors, an unwillingness to relinquish control to the nurse and, for some, a lack of coping with the perceived consequences of the condition.3,4,5
Thematic map of interview themes1
Research that explores patient-centred care (PCC), although limited, purports positive benefits for patients who engage with care including optimised participation, enhanced satisfaction, positive clinical outcomes and improvements in quality of life (QoL).6,7,8,9 Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are also shown to benefit from a PCC approach to care with reports of enhanced personal empowerment and increased job satisfaction.10,11 Despite such benefits, research suggests that practitioners continue to fail to elicit patients' main concerns during consultations and many patients remain reluctant to disclose key factors relating to their condition and/or care.2,9,10,11 Thorne12 highlights that HCP and patient communication is an important opportunity within the consultation, with effective dialogue having the potential to optimise autonomy and maintain independence.13,14
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