BMJ Open. 2021 Oct 12;11(10):e048331. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048331.
OBJECTIVES: Elastic compression stocking (ECS) therapy is an important treatment for patients with deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This study aimed to provide insight into the structure and variability of the ECS therapy process, its effects on outcomes, and to elicit improvement themes from a multiple stakeholder perspective.
DESIGN: Thirty semi-structured interviews with professionals and patients were performed. The essential functions for the process of ECS therapy were extracted to create two work-as-done models using the Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM). These findings were used to guide discussion between stakeholders to identify improvement themes.
SETTING: Two regions in the Netherlands, region Limburg and region North-Holland, including an academic hospital and a general hospital and their catchment region.
PARTICIPANTS: The interviewees were purposely recruited and included 25 healthcare professionals (ie, general practitioners, internists, dermatologists, nurses, doctor’s assistants, occupational therapists, home care nurses and medical stocking suppliers) and 5 patients with DVT or CVI.
RESULTS: Two FRAM models were created (one for each region). The variability of the functions and their effect on outcomes, as well as interdependencies between functions, were identified. These were presented in stakeholder meetings to identify the structure of the process and designated variable and uniform parts of the process and its outcomes. Ultimately, six improvement themes were identified: dissemination of knowledge of the entire process; optimising and standardising initial compression therapy; optimising timing to contact the medical stocking supplier (when oedema has disappeared); improving the implementation of assistive devices; harmonising follow-up duration for patients with CVI; personalising follow-up and treatment duration in patients with DVT.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provided a detailed understanding of how ECS therapy is delivered in daily practice by describing major functions and variability in performances and elicited six improvement themes from a multistakeholder perspective.
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