Opinions of vascular surgeons and podiatrists in Australia and New Zealand on the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for lower limb ulcers

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Authors: Drovandi A, Fernando ME, Singh TP, Woolley T, Golledge J.
Publication: BMJ Open Diabetes research and care
Year: 2020

Introduction: 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been suggested to improve healing of lower limb ulcers, though the quality of available evidence is weak to moderate. This study assessed the opinions and use of HBOT by specialists treating lower limb ulcers.

Research design and methods: 

Accredited vascular surgeons and podiatrists in Australia and New Zealand were sent an online survey via their professional organizations. The survey asked about their use and opinions of HBOT in treating lower limb ischemic, neuropathic and venous ulcers. Data were summarized with descriptive statistics. Non-parametric tests were used to compare survey results obtained from vascular surgeons and podiatrists.

Results: 

61 vascular surgeons and 40 podiatrists completed the survey. Thirty-seven specialists used HBOT for treating lower limb ulcers, with the remainder indicating they did not feel there was a role for HBOT (n=25) or did not have access to HBOT (n=39). Less than 8% of specialists indicated that HBOT frequently or always had a role in treating ischemic, neuropathic or venous ulcers. Compared with podiatrists, vascular surgeons were significantly less likely to indicate HBOT had a treatment role for any ulcer type (p<0.001, p=0.004, and p<0.001, respectively), though significantly more likely to indicate they currently used HBOT for treating lower limb ulcers (p<0.001). Most specialists (n=76) believed that a large clinical trial is needed to determine the efficacy of HBOT in treating lower limb ulcers.

Conclusions: 

Vascular surgeons and podiatrists do not feel HBOT has a frequent role in treating lower limb ulcers, but do feel there needs to be a large clinical trial to test its value.

  • Listing ID: 9203
  • Author/s: Drovandi A, Fernando ME, Singh TP, Woolley T, Golledge J
  • Publication: BMJ Open Diabetes research and care
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 1
  • Article Keywords: surveys; questionnaires