Improving Patient Experience through a Novel Negative Pressure Wound Therapy System

Abstract

BACKGROUND and PURPOSE

The use of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) has grown exponentially since its inception. While patients understand the positive clinical benefits of the device on their wounds, issues such as noise, sleep disturbance, and reduced mobility1 may impact their adherence to treatment and subsequently impede healing.

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the ability of a Novel NPWT System‡ to improve both the patient experience and clinical outcomes as compared to a Common NPWT System^.

METHODS
This investigation provides patient outcomes data from two different clinical sites for 12 diabetic patients with lower extremity wounds who fit the criteria for NPWT. Wounds included neuropathic ulcers, amputations, dehiscence and post-debridement application of NPWT. Dressings were changed 2-3 times weekly and wound measurements were taken.

Both sites enrolled six patients who received either a Novel NPWT System or a Common NPWT System^. Both devices contained an electronically controlled feedback system ensuring the prescribed pressure is maintained at the wound bed, consistent with the European Wound Management Association (EWMA) consensus review on NPWT devices2.

Patients were asked a series of questions at weekly intervals consisting of pain level, noise level, sleep disturbance, and overall satisfaction with the device.

RESULTS

Patients utilizing the Novel NPWT System experienced an average volume reduction of 84% and treatment duration of 9.7 weeks, which was 41% less than the Common NPWT System^ (average 17 weeks). Additionally, staff reported that patients utilizing the Novel NPWT System had a higher level of adherence to treatment; routinely returning to the clinic with the system powered and dressings intact. Patients reported increased satisfaction due to the light weight and simple operation which made it easier to adhere to treatment. Staff did not observe this same level of adherence with patients using the Common NPWT System^.

CONCLUSIONS

The impact of patient satisfaction on overall NPWT effectiveness cannot be neglected. The improved patient experience seen with the Novel NPWT System resulted in increased adherence to therapy and outcomes which exceeded those of the Common NPWT System^. This investigation included a small patient cohort and more data is needed from the diabetic patient population to confirm the results. However, our preliminary conclusion supports that the Novel NPWT System not only provided better patient experience but also improved clinical outcomes and should be considered when evaluating an NPWT system.

Invia® LibertyTM NPWT System; Medela AG
^ACTIV.A.C.TM Therapy System; 3M+KCI

  1. Ubbink, D.T., Westerbos, S.J., Evans, D. et al. Topical negative pressure for treating chronic wounds. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008; 16: 3, CD001898.
  2. Apelqvist, J., Willy, C., Fagerdah, A.M. et al. Negative Pressure Wound Therapy – overview, challenges and perspectives. J Wound Care 2017; 26: 3, Suppl 3, S1–S113.

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