Objective: This exploratory study surveys a group of practitioners to discover their perspectives on the prevalence of stress, anxiety and mood disorders among their patients with acute and chronic wounds.
Method: A questionnaire survey was sent to an convenience sample of 81 health professionals. The questionnaire included items about the health professionals' perceptions of the prevalence of mood disorders among their patients, and their perceptions of potential contributory factors and treatments.
Results: Thirty-nine health professionals (48%), including tissue viability nurses, nurses and podiatrists, responded to the survey. The majority of respondents believed that 50-75% of their patients with chronic wound were suffering from mood problems related to their condition. Despite this, most practitioners believed that few of their patients were actually receiving treatment for these moodrelated problems. One quarter of patients with acute wounds were considered to have related problems with mood. Practitioners believed anxiety and feeling helpless were the most common mood problems among their patients, while chronic pain/discomfort of the wound and inability to complete everyday tasks were potential contributory factors to these problems.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that the health professionals who responded to the survey were aware of behavioural signs of stress, anxiety and mood problems in their patients with chronic wounds. Furthermore, the majority of practitioners did not feel that their patients were receiving help or treatment for these problems. It is therefore suggested that increased awareness of the behavioural signs of stress, anxiety and mood problems among patients with wounds could help to improve the patient's experience of wound care, as acknowledgement of mood problems could lead to the most appropriate form of treatment or help for individual patients.
Declaration of interest: This study was commissioned by Mölnlycke Health Care. None of the authors work for Mölnlycke or have any financial interests with the company. There are no additional conflicts of interest to declare.