What were we asked to look at?
The overarching research questions addressed in this Health Technology Assessment (HTA) are:
- What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of different antimicrobial wound dressings (AWDs), and their safety, compared with other dressings and techniques, for treating localised wound infection in chronic wounds in adults?
- What are the patient and organisational issues associated with the use of different AWDs in adult patients with chronic wounds?
Please note this HTA includes an earlier version of the Scottish Ropper Ladder for Infected Wounds. This was updated in 2018, and a new version can be accessed from the Tissue Viability section of the Healthcare Improvement Scotland website.
Results and conclusions
The published evidence base on the clinical effectiveness of these dressings was found to be of insufficient quality to support or refute their use. The dressings are currently being used within NHSScotland and primary research conducted with patients and staff indicated a lack of consistent practice and this being an added burden to patients. To enable meaningful advice to be given to NHSScotland until better quality evidence becomes available, SHTG and SIGN engaged in a unique collaboration to produce consensus recommendations to accompany the HTA. With the support of SIGN, SHTG researchers recruited NHSScotland staff to participate in a modified Delphi process resulting in a series of eight statements to guide practice.
Supplementary information relating to the literature search strategies and focus groups, together with full write-ups of the NHSScotland staff survey, cost effectiveness evidence, synthesis of the qualitative research and primary research relating to patient issues and experiences, and the Delphi process used to develop the consensus recommendations is also provided.
Understanding our report and advice
The accompanying summary booklet provides a brief overview of the recommendations and findings of the HTA.
Information for patients, their families and carers
The patient booklet has been produced to explain the recommendations from the HTA about the use of antimicrobial wound dressings in chronic wounds.