Survey of wounds in Helsinki home care services in 2020
Background The aim of the survey was to investigate wounds and associated factors in Helsinki home care services in 2020. The results were compared with the previous survey from 2015.
Methods The survey was performed by a two-part questionnaire sent to all home care service units (N = 67) in the City of Helsinki. The response rates were 100% (part 1) and 81% (part 2).
Results Of all people receiving home care, 398 (4.6%) had a wound. The most prevalent wound types were oedema-related (21.8%), pressure (17.9%), and post-traumatic (15.9%). Of all wounds, 77.7% were chronic (≥ 4 weeks’ duration). Availability of products used in wound care, competence of the home care staff, and the working environment at the patient’s home were considered to be the three major challenges in wound care.
Conclusions The staff in home care services are in the front line in detecting and diagnosing wounds and, furthermore, in timely initiation of wound care. However, the majority of the wounds are chronic. By strengthening comprehensive, multidisciplinary assessment and developing clinical pathways, the aim is to diagnose wounds in earlier stages already and to make care plans accordingly. The continuing education of nursing staff is important in order to achieve better wound care for home-care patients.
Ulla Aalto, Marja Vihavainen, Grette Vingal, Eeva Sandelin
M.D., Ph.D., Specialist in Geriatrics and General Practice, Associate Chief Physician
City of Helsinki Social Services and Health Care Division, Hospital, Rehabilitation and Care Services, Home Care Physicians