University of Melbourne researcher explores impact of living with chronic wounds

People who live with chronic wounds are often disadvantaged financially and emotionally and remain a hidden aspect of our healthcare system.

A University of Melbourne researcher is looking at the impact of living with wounds that take more than four weeks to heal, such as venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers and foot wounds, and the advantages of optimising self-management for these patients.

Suzanne Kapp, a PhD candidate and wound specialist said that with an ageing population and increasing numbers of younger Australians living with chronic health conditions, self-management may be a option to the growing pressures on the healthcare budgets and expenditure.

“Chronic wounds have a broad impact on health and well-being, including physical, emotional and financial costs. At any time, at least two per cent of the total population will be using some forms of dressings and some of these are very expensive,” she said.

“Encouraging patients to self-manage their wounds offers patients a sense of self-control and flexibility. My research will look at how to enhance healing for this cohort of patients by learning about what they need and then engaging them through on-line programs.” Suzanne said.

One of the aims is to produce an App that will assist and guide patients to self-treat.

“I know by talking with patients that they really want to self-treat but some additional tools will help them to better manage this process. It is important to them.”

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