Perspectives about exercise from adults with venous leg ulcers : an exploratory study

O'Brien, J., Finlayson, K., Kerr, G., & Edwards, H. (2014) Perspectives about exercise from adults with venous leg ulcers : an exploratory study. Journal of Wound Care, 23(10), pp. 496-509.

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Exercise has the potential to offer a range of health benefits in addition to improving healing outcomes for people with venous leg ulcers. However despite evidence based recommendations, most of these individuals do not engage in regular exercise. The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of the perspectives of adults with venous leg ulcers, in relation to exercise.


This was a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews and discussions. Ten participants with venous leg ulceration volunteered to participate. Recruitment was through a specialist wound clinic. Verbatim data were collected by an experienced moderator using a semi-structured guide. Data saturation was reached after three group discussions and two interviews. A random selection of transcripts was sent back to the participants for verification. Thematic content analysis was used to determine major themes and categories. Two transcripts were independently analysed, categories and themes independently developed, cross checked and found comparable. Remaining transcripts were analysed using developed categories and codes.


Regardless of their current exercise routine, participants reported exercising prior to venous leg ulceration and expressed an interest in either becoming active or maintaining an active lifestyle. Overall four themes emerged from the findings: i) participant understanding of the relationship between chronic venous insufficiency and exercise patterns, ii) fear of harm impacts upon positive beliefs and attitudes to exercise, iii) perceived factors limit exercise and iv) structured management facilitates exercise.


The value of exercise in improving outcomes in venous leg ulcers lies in its capacity to promote venous return and reduce the risk of secondary conditions in this population. Despite motivation and interest in being exercise active, people with venous leg ulcers report many obstacles. Further exploration of mechanisms that assist this patient population and promote understanding about management of barriers, coupled with promotion of enabling factors is vital for improving their exercise participation.

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ID Code: 76204
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: venous leg ulcers, exercise, semi-structured interviews, self-efficacy, outcome expectancies
DOI: 10.12968/jowc.2014.23.10.496
ISSN: 0969-0700
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 MA Healthcare Limited
Deposited On: 31 Oct 2014 00:12
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2014 02:37

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