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Compliance with compression therapy “Good education is crucial”

Issue 01/2020

The more regularly patients wear their compression stockings, the happier they are with their treatment. This was the result of a survey carried out by the Allensbach Institute.1 Prof. Dr. med. Eberhard Rabe emphasizes that in-depth education provided by the physician is absolutely crucial.

Prof. Dr. med. Eberhard Rabe, President Emeritus of the International Union of Phlebology (IUP).

Bauerfeind life: How do you rate the acceptance of compression therapy these days?

Prof. Rabe: We know from different surveys that , in Germany, the acceptance of medical compression stockings is good with symptomatic patients. The current Allensbach survey has even shown a slight improvement compared with previous surveys. Patients who indicated that they wear compression stockings usually do this very regularly on all days of the week, and for the whole day. In addition to these, there are, however, many people who would benefit from compression therapy but don’t wear medical compression stockings for various reasons.

So, much more convincing is needed for compression therapy?

Prof. Rabe: Yes, because many patients can still not imagine that their problems would decrease by wearing medical compression stockings. And many older patients are struggling to put the stockings on and take them off.

One outcome of the Allensbach survey is that the better patients were educated by the physician in advance about the effect of compression stockings, the more regularly they wear them. What advice do you pass on to your patients?

Prof. Rabe: In-depth education by the physician about the purpose of the compression therapy and the reason for the patients’ problems is absolutely crucial for good compliance. I discuss in detail the cause of the complaints, the effects of compression and which success, but also which problems, can occur. Additionally, I explain when it’s particularly important to wear medical compression stockings, and when they can be taken off. For older patients, the use of donning aids can help, and support from a home carer as required.

What do you bear in mind when prescribing compression stockings?

Prof. Rabe: In my opinion, it’s important that the length and the compression class of the medical compression stockings are adapted to the patient’s actual needs. The prescription should be for the lowest compression class that is able to achieve a significant reduction in the patient’s problems. In most cases, a lower leg stocking is sufficient. But the patient’s preference also plays an important role here. Prescribing something the patient doesn’t want won’t help with compliance.


1) Survey carried out by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy on behalf of eurocom e. V. among 1,300 users of medical aids from December 2018 to February 2019.

Further informations

The Allensbach survey is available at

Images: Dr. Eberhard Rabe, Eurocom

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