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A study on compression therapy and quality of life Significant effects even after one week

Issue 03/2021

Asking patients about their quality of life with ten questions: Bauerfeind conducted a practical test. In a study conducted over four weeks, the “Impact of medical compression stockings on quality of life and leg pain in patients with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)” was examined. It was proven that, even for experienced wearers of compression stockings, quality of life was improved by focusing on their own treatment.

For the study, we explicitly recruited CVI patients who have been wearing compression stockings for many years. “We wanted to check whether quality of life can be influenced by high-quality products and increasing patient involvement in the treatment,” explains Dr. Isabell Rüdiger, Study Coordinator, who examined this question using a prospective study design. The results were positive: even after the first week with the new compression garment, patients reported a significant improvement in their quality of life, which continued to increase over the course of the study.

Questionnaire specifically designed for vein problems

Dr. Isabell Rüdiger is a Scientific Study Director and Manager of Medical Affairs at Bauerfeind.
Dr. Isabell Rüdiger is a Scientific Study Director and Manager of Medical Affairs at Bauerfeind.

16 women and 15 men with an average age of 63 and CVI stages from C2 to C4 took part in the study. After the initial examination including a medical history, which was carried out by an external study doctor, measurement and comprehensive consultation, the participants were given compression stockings in the right size. In this study, the VenoTrain soft was used as a thigh-high stocking because it is suitable for early as well as moderate CVI stages and is popular with men and women, thanks to its firmer material.

Patients were given an activity diary and a questionnaire for documentation. The questionnaire was the short version of the “Freiburg Life Quality Assessment for Chronic Venous Disease” (FLQA-VS-10), which is reduced to ten questions. “We chose this questionnaire because it is internationally recognized, validated and designed specifically for chronic vein problems,” says Dr. Isabell Rüdiger, explaining the advantages. “Plus, it’s short and therefore easy to complete. That helps with compliance.” Every seven days, study participants noted on the questionnaire how they rated their condition-specific and health-related quality of life. They used the activity diary to write down the severity of their CVI-associated leg problems each week and made a daily entry of how long they wore the stockings for, how they felt and which activities they did.




Clear pain reduction for all participants

After the participants wore the garments for four weeks, the study team evaluated the questionnaires and was surprised by the positive results. All participants benefited from wearing the compression stockings: even after one week, significant improvements were observed in the quality of life as well as reduced CVI-associated leg problems. The results continued to improve over the course of the study.

All parameters surveyed, from pain and tension to tingling and itching, had reduced. When it came to heavy legs and swollen feet, participants actually indicated a reduction by more than 50 percent. The fact that leg pain was reduced even after one week of wearing the VenoTrain soft and decreased by 1.6 points on a 10-point scale after 28 days may have contributed to the result that 93 percent of patients would recommend the stockings to their friends. Overall, 86 percent of participants experienced some or many positive changes as a result of wearing the stocking. Almost the same quantity (84 percent) was happy with putting on the stockings.

Involvement of the informed patient is important

“We were really surprised that the study participants noticed such major effects, despite their experience with compression stockings,” comments Dr. Isabell Rüdiger. This may be for many reasons: the previous compression garment may no longer have been ideal or there was a lack of compliance.

Perhaps the specific study situation that required compliance resulted in increased awareness. By completing the questionnaire every day, the patients’ focus was put on their treatment and allowed them to notice even minor improvements. This may have had a positive impact on adherence, which also manifested in an above-average length of documented wearing time of twelve hours. According to the Scientific Study Director, the findings definitely how essential it is for successful treatment that patients understand the importance of compression therapy and are comprehensively educated and involved. Physicians and medical retailers have a lot of responsibility and can significantly contribute to successful outcomes. Even though time is usually an issue during practical treatment: “It is absolutely essential that the product is fitted perfectly by the medical retailer. But the information and instructions provided by the doctor are much more significant,” reports Dr. Isabell Rüdiger. When starting treatment, in particular, the physician should pay a lot of attention to the patient and explain how important it is to wear the product regularly. Taking all economic aspects into account, these efforts are cost-effective and constitute time well-spent.

The study shows that if the right components come together – a medical diagnosis including the appropriate patient education, precise fitting with expert advice and continuous compliance – compression therapy can significantly improve quality of life in the long term.

Further information

The summary of selected results from the study “The impact of VenoTrain soft on quality of life
and leg problems in CVI patients” can be requested

Images: Bauerfeind

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