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Dianne Rudolph, DNP, APRN, GNP-BC, CWOCN, UTHSCSA

Dealing with patients who can’t or won’t participate in their care can be a challenge for health care providers across all settings. In wound care, this lack of participation can result in great financial costs, diminished quality of life, and suboptimal clinical outcomes. This is part 2 of a 2-part series on noncompliance in wound care patients. Part 1 addressed possible reasons for noncompliance. In part 2, strategies to address these issues and increase patient participation are discussed.
Part 1 of this blog discussed factors that impact a patient’s ability to adhere to clinician recommendations for care. Consequently, the most appropriate term to use when dealing with patients facing these obstacles is nonadherence. This term tends to be less value laden and more objective than noncompliance. Some of the reasons for nonadherence are voluntary and some are involuntary, or beyond the patient’s control. To review briefly, these reasons may include gaps in knowledge about the implications or severity of a chronic wound, limited recommendations or education by clinicians, perceived disadvantages to treatment, psychological factors, cultural factors, and social or financial constraints. Additionally, in some cases, alcohol or drug dependence can impact the patient’s ability to participate fully in their care.

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Dealing with patients who either can’t or won’t participate in their care can be a challenge for health care providers across all settings. In wound care, this lack of participation can result in greater financial costs, diminished quality of life, and suboptimal clinical outcomes. This is part one of a two-part series on noncompliance in wound care patients. Part one addresses possible reasons for noncompliance. In part two, strategies to address these issues and increase patient participation are discussed.

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By Dianne Rudolph, DNP, GNP-bc, CWOCN

In evaluating a patient with a wound on the foot, a question that often comes to mind is whether that wound is caused by pressure, diabetes mellitus (DM), ischemia, trauma, or a combination. For example, a patient with DM who happens to have an ulcer on the foot may have a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) or possibly something else. One of the bigger challenges that many clinicians face is trying to determine the etiology of a foot ulcer. There has been a great deal of debate about DFUs and pressure injuries (PIs) on the feet of patients in terms of how to appropriately assess, classify, and treat them. The confusion and lack of evidence in differentiating between these two types of foot ulcers, particularly on the heel, can lead to misdiagnosis, which can increase both financial and patient-related costs.

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By Dianne Rudolph, APRN, GNP-BC, CWOCN, UTHSCSA

Pressure injuries (PIs) are defined by the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel as “localized damage to the skin and/or underlying soft tissue usually over a bony prominence or related to a medical or other device.” Pressure injuries may present as intact skin or as an open ulcer. These wound may be painful. Pressure injuries occur after exposure to prolonged pressure or as a result of pressure in combination with shear. Other factors may affect soft tissue tolerance, such as nutrition, perfusion, microclimate, the presence of comorbidities, and the condition of the soft tissue.

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Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) is a common problem for wound clinicians. It connotes a spectrum of skin damage caused by inflammation and erosion (or denudation) of the epidermis resulting from prolonged exposure to various sources of moisture and potential irritants. These can include urine, stool, perspiration, wound exudates, or ostomy effluent. MASD includes several different categories: incontinence-associated dermatitis (AID), intertriginous dermatitis, periwound skin damage, and peristomal MASD. Of these categories, IAD is one of the more challenging issues for clinicians to recognize and treat. It is not uncommon for IAD to be inaccurately assessed as a stage 2 pressure injury. For the purposes of this blog, the focus is on differentiating between IAD and pressure injuries. Treatment strategies are also addressed.

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