Chronic wounds are a health problem that have devastating consequences for patients and contribute major costs to healthcare systems and societies. To understand the magnitude of this health issue, a systematic review was undertaken. Searches were conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, EBM Reviews and Cochrane library, CINAHL, EBSCO, PsycINFO, and Global Health databases for articles published between 2000 and 2015. Included publications had to target adults (≥18 years of age), state wound chronicity (≥3 weeks) and/or label the wounds as chronic, complex, hard-to-heal, or having led to an amputation. The review excluded studies that did not present data on generic health-related quality of life and/or cost data, case studies, randomized controlled trials, economic modeling studies, abstracts, and editorials. Extracted data were summarized into a narrative synthesis, and for a few articles using the same health-related quality of life instrument, average estimates with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Thirty articles met the inclusion criteria. Findings revealed that health-related quality of life was lowest for physical pathologies, and based on average estimates were scores most inferior in the domain physical role for both patients with chronic wounds and for those with wound-related amputations. The cost burden was mainly attributed to amputations for patients also comorbid with diabetes, where the cost for hospitalization ranged from US$12,851 to US$16,267 (median) for this patient group. Patients with chronic wounds have poor health-related quality of life in general and wound-related costs are substantial. Development and implementation of wound management strategies that focus on increasing health-related quality of life and effectively reduce costs for this patient group are urgently needed.
- Hälso- och sjukvårdsorganisation, hälsopolitik och hälsoekonomi