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Measuring outcomes with complex patients: an audit of the effect of Actiform Cool on painful wounds

31 August 2008

There is growing awareness surrounding the importance of wound pain, recognised by the publication of recent international studies (White, 2008). Wound pain has been identified as an outcome important to patients, in addition to physiological endpoints. It can be difficult to use randomised controlled trials to measure subjective outcomes such as pain, particularly with complex patients. An audit was therefore used to explore the effect of Actiform Cool on wound-related pain.

Methods: Change in wound-related pain was assessed using a modified Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire pre- and post-application of Actiform Cool, and patients were asked to report on any changes in their pain experience, and the effects of this on their activities of daily living.

Results: Results indicated that 12 patients reported an overall decrease in pain levels following use of the dressing. Four patients reduced their analgesia requirements with one discontinuing opiate analgesics. Five patients reported improvement in their sleep patterns and three reported improved mobility.

Conclusion: The overall outcome reinforces that Actiform Cool has the potential to reduce pain in some patients when used as part of a pain management plan.

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