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AHRQ Releases Study on Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

Thursday, October 2, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Becky Dryden
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On September 15, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ), released a comprehensive technology assessment study on the effectiveness of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) on the treatment of chronic wounds in the home care setting.

The report is intended to help health care decision-makers; patients and clinicians, health system leaders, and policymakers, make well informed decisions and thereby improve the quality of health care services. This report may be used, in whole or in part, as the basis for development of clinical practice guidelines and other quality enhancement tools, or as a basis for reimbursement and coverage policies.

The goal of the study was to systematically review the efficacy and safety of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) for treatment of chronic wounds in the home setting. The authors included studies examining the use of NPWT in patients with chronic wounds, including venous leg ulcers, arterial leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers, and mixed etiology chronic wounds. They retrieved 5,912 citations, and found seven studies which met the criteria for inclusion. Six of the studies compared NPWT devices to other wound care methods. One study compared two different NPWT devices.

Ultimately the study's authors were unable to draw any firm conclusions about the efficacy or safety of NPWT for the treatment of chronic wounds in the home setting due to insufficient evidence. The authors stated "Though NPWT has been used across the wound care spectrum, significant research gaps remain. Standardization of wound care research protocols, such as providing consistency in comparator groups, robust randomized study designs, larger trials, and common definitions of outcomes, would be helpful in providing evidence to inform decisions about the use of NPWT."

A link to the study can be found here: Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Technologies For Chronic Wound Care in the Home Setting

Additionally, AHRQ, has provided a link to comments that were provided to the group during release of the draft version of the study. Those comments can be found here.

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