Undertaking a person-centred assessment of patients with chronic wounds


Smith F & Sharp A (2019) Undertaking a person-centred assessment of patients with chronic wounds. Nursing Standard, 34 (10), pp. 77-82.

Wounds have traditionally been classified as acute or chronic. While this classification is useful when attempting to estimate healing times, it might lead to an acceptance that some wounds will take longer to heal or might not heal at all. Chronic wounds can adversely affect patients’ quality of life, and the management of these wounds may involve significant healthcare resources and costs. Chronic wounds rarely develop in healthy individuals and are often associated with pre-existing conditions that complicate wound healing, such as diabetes mellitus and vascular disease. This article discusses how acute wounds and chronic wounds are differentiated. It details the phases of wound healing and identifies potential barriers to progression through these phases. Enhancing nurses’ understanding of chronic wounds will enable them to identify any potential barriers to wound healing early and remove or ameliorate them. While a holistic assessment should also include a thorough assessment of the wound itself, this is beyond the scope of this article.

acute wounds; chronic wounds; complex wounds; leg ulcers; non-healing wounds; pressure ulcers; skin; tissue viability; wound assessment; wound care; wound healing; wound management

Nursing Standard: Volume 34, Issue 10

Publication date31/10/2019
Publication date online08/07/2019
Date accepted by journal21/12/2018