Evidence-based decisions for local and systemic wound care

F E Brölmann, D T Ubbink, E A Nelson, K Munte, C M A M van der Horst, H Vermeulen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Decisions on local and systemic wound treatment vary among surgeons and are frequently based on expert opinion. The aim of this meta-review was to compile best available evidence from systematic reviews in order to formulate conclusions to support evidence-based decisions in clinical practice.

METHODS: All Cochrane systematic reviews (CSRs), published by the Cochrane Wounds and Peripheral Vascular Diseases Groups, and that investigated therapeutic and preventive interventions, were searched in the Cochrane Database up to June 2011. Two investigators independently categorized each intervention into five levels of evidence of effect, based on size and homogeneity, and the effect size of the outcomes.

RESULTS: After screening 149 CSRs, 44 relevant reviews were included. These contained 109 evidence-based conclusions: 30 on venous ulcers, 30 on acute wounds, 15 on pressure ulcers, 14 on diabetic ulcers, 12 on arterial ulcers and eight on miscellaneous chronic wounds. Strong conclusions could be drawn regarding the effectiveness of: therapeutic ultrasonography, mattresses, cleansing methods, closure of surgical wounds, honey, antibiotic prophylaxis, compression, lidocaine-prilocaine cream, skin grafting, antiseptics, pentoxifylline, debridement, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, granulocyte colony-stimulating factors, prostanoids and spinal cord stimulation.

CONCLUSION: For some wound care interventions, robust evidence exists upon which clinical decisions should be based.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1172-83
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number9
Early online date6 Jul 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2012


  • Acute Disease
  • Chronic Disease
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Skin Ulcer/physiopathology
  • Tissue Adhesions/surgery
  • Wound Healing/physiology
  • Wounds and Injuries/physiopathology


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