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Abstract

Aim of the study: To explore patient understanding of why they develop a venous leg ulcer and how they can prevent recurrence. Method: The methodological framework of the hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seventeen participants living with a venous leg ulcer from May 2017 to November 2018. Data were analysed using Smith's interpretative hermeneutic analysis. Results: The results are categorised into three main themes: “Trauma due to accident” (initial venous leg ulcer) and “Prevention of ulcer recurrence” (compression); “Trauma due to compression therapy” (venous leg ulcer recurrence). The findings demonstrate active venous leg ulcers are often caused by acute incidents while carrying out an activity in people with underlying chronic venous insufficiency. After a complete healing, preventive measures, such a compression stockings are initiated by the patient or health care provider. Trauma due to adherence to compression stockings caused skin breakdown beneath compression that caused subsequent ulcer recurrence. Conclusion: This study contributes to understanding the lived experience of patients with venous leg ulcers who develop a venous leg ulcer and their understanding of how they can prevent recurrence. Patients with VLUs would benefit from early preventive strategies, such as such a compression stockings fitting and application, integrated into daily care plan of primary care and community settings.

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