Researchers at the University of York are hoping to identify a more effective treatment for a medical condition which affects thousands of older people.
A team from the University’s Department of Health Sciences is working with nurses across the UK to test out a new therapy for chronic leg ulcers.The VenUS III randomised controlled trial, backed by the Department of Health through its Health Technology Assessment Programme, will involve 336 patients and take three years to complete.Leg ulcers have a significant impact on older people’s health and quality of life and, so far, the only clearly effective therapy is compression bandaging or hosiery. Trial manager Dr Judith Watson said: “The challenge now is to increase the proportion of healed ulcers, and to reduce healing time, particularly in patients with long-standing or large ulcers.”Previous research has indicated a potential benefit in the use of therapeutic ultrasound on chronic wounds. Many leg ulcers fail to heal despite the use of high compression, so VenUS III will examine the effect of ultrasound on people with ‘hard-to-heal’ ulcers.”Patients will receive either standard care dressings and bandaging weekly or once weekly ultrasound therapy for 12 weeks, alongside standard care dressing and bandaging.Research centres across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, including centres in Leeds and the Scarborough and Whitby areas, are already involved.Data collected from each patient will be analysed to identify the most clinically and cost-effective treatment, to aid future decisions about the care and treatment of ‘hard-to-heal’ venous leg ulcers.(Source: University of York: April 2006.)