Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is an effective treatment for healing wounds, which may have additional benefits, such as reduced time spent in hospital and fewer dressing changes. However, as with most wound treatments, NPWT can be painful for some patients. Research has shown that the pain and accompanying stress of wound care can impair patient quality of life and delay the healing process, highlighting the need to explore ways in which the patient experience of NPWT might be improved. This article presents part one of three studies which aimed to investigate the above. In the present study, an online survey was used to explore the views of wound care clinicians worldwide (n = 221) on NPWT and levels of pain, stress and skin trauma in patients during the different stages of treatment. Findings suggest that, in the opinion of clinicians, patients' pain levels vary during the different stages of NPWT and that removal of the wound fillers and dressings or covering films are the most painful stages.