Prevalence and factors associated with ulcer-related pain in persons with chronic leg ulcers-an explorative study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLeren, L., Johansen, E. A., Eide, H., Sørum Falk, R. & Ljoså, T. M. (2021). Prevalence and factors associated with ulcer-related pain in persons with chronic leg ulcers—an explorative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 30(17-18), 2732-2741. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.15787
Aims and Objectives: The aims of this study were to explore the prevalence of background pain and identify demographic, clinical and psychosocial factors associated with moderate to severe background pain in persons with leg ulcers. Background: All chronic leg ulcers are potentially painful. Research indicates that 80% of persons with chronic leg ulcers experience wound-related background pain. However, studies on factors associated with pain have small samples and findings are inconclusive. Design: Exploratory cross-sectional study. Method: This quantitative study recruited persons with chronic leg ulcers (N = 252) from two wound care clinics using consecutive sampling method. Data were obtained through screening interview, clinical examination and questionnaires. Logistic regression with stepwise backwards elimination was used to identify factors associated with moderate to severe background pain. The STROBE checklist for cross-sectional studies was used for reporting this study. Results: Background pain was reported by 64% of the participants. Inferential statistical analyses suggest that between 58% and 69% of persons with chronic leg ulcers suffer from this type of pain. Factors associated with moderate to severe pain were older age, female gender, reduced sleep quality and diminished health status. In the final model, reduced sleep quality increased the likelihood of having moderate to severe pain in persons with good health status while not in persons with diminished health status. Conclusion: Ulcer-related background pain is common in persons with chronic leg ulcers. Older females reporting insomnia symptoms also had increased risk of moderate to severe ulcer-related background pain. These participants also perceived their health status to be better. Relevance to clinical practice: This study demonstrates that ulcer-related background pain and associated factors needs more attention in clinical practice. Furthermore, nurses and other healthcare professionals should integrate biopsychosocial strategies to assess and manage ulcer-related background pain.