Patients’ perceptions and experiences of venous leg ulceration and their attitudes to larval therapy: an in-depth qualitative study

McCaughan, Dorothy, Cullum, Nicky and Dumville, Joanne (2013) Patients’ perceptions and experiences of venous leg ulceration and their attitudes to larval therapy: an in-depth qualitative study. Health Expectations, 18 4: 527-541. doi:10.1111/hex.12053


Author McCaughan, Dorothy
Cullum, Nicky
Dumville, Joanne
Title Patients’ perceptions and experiences of venous leg ulceration and their attitudes to larval therapy: an in-depth qualitative study
Journal name Health Expectations   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1369-7625
1369-6513
Publication date 2013-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/hex.12053
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 18
Issue 4
Start page 527
End page 541
Total pages 15
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
Venous leg ulcers are a common and distressing condition that can impair quality of life. Larval therapy has been widely promoted for the treatment of different types of chronic wounds, yet little is known about its acceptability to patients.

Objectives
To explore patients' experiences of venous leg ulceration and of the acceptability of larval therapy as a treatment.

Design
Qualitative study, using semi-structured interviews alongside a randomized controlled trial. Interview data were transcribed and analysed for thematic content. Data were collected from April 2007 to July 2007.

Setting and participants
Eighteen people (12 men, 6 women), aged between 29 and 93 years (median age 64 years), with at least one venous leg ulcer, took part in the study. Fourteen people were recruited from two vascular clinics (one attached to a hospital and the other located in a community setting). A further four people were recruited through referral from a team of community nurses.

Findings
Participants portrayed lives blighted by the presence of one or more leg ulcers. The majority were willing to try ‘maggots’ (larvae) and able to overcome feelings of squeamishness because of their strong desire to heal their ulcers. Five people treated with larvae were included in the study. Initial improvements in the condition of their ulcers were not sustained, and two participants experienced severe pain.

Discussion and conclusions
Patients may hold unrealistic expectations that larval therapy will effect a longed-for cure for their leg ulcer(s) but an absence of healing may lead to feelings of disappointment or despair.
Keyword Larval therapy
Patient acceptability
Patient views and experience
Venous leg ulcers
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 15 February 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 22 May 2014, 21:47:07 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work