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To explore whether different dressing types were associated with the pain and stress experiences of patients with chronic wounds.


  • This exploratory study was conducted to identify any differences between reported levels of pain and stress associated with the use of atraumatic and conventional dressings used in the treatment of patients with chronic wounds.
  • The following psychological measures were implemented:
    • The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)
    • The State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)
    • A numerical stress rating scale
  • At dressing change, the PSS and STAI questionnaires were read aloud to each patient and verbal responses were recorded by a member of the research team.


  • Of 49 patients with chronic wounds, 53% were male (n=26) and 47% were female (n=23). Age ranged between 38 and 95 years, with a mean age of 69.1±14.1.
  • Wound types were of varying aetiologies and were treated with either atraumatic dressings, such as Mepilex, or conventional dressings such as Biatain®* or Aquacel®* Ag, (Table 1).

*Aquacel is a registered trademark of ConvaTec Inc. Biatain is a registered trademark of Coloplast A/S.


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