Testing the effectiveness of a self-efficacy based exercise intervention for adults with venous leg ulcers : protocol of a randomised controlled trial

O'Brien, Jane A., Finlayson, Kathleen J., Kerr, Graham K., & Edwards, Helen E. (2014) Testing the effectiveness of a self-efficacy based exercise intervention for adults with venous leg ulcers : protocol of a randomised controlled trial. BMC Dermatology, 14(16).

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Exercise and adequate self-management capacity may be important strategies in the management of venous leg ulcers. However, it remains unclear if exercise improves the healing rates of venous leg ulcers and if a self-management exercise program based on self-efficacy theory is well adhered to.


This is a randomised controlled in adults with venous leg ulcers to determine the effectiveness of a self-efficacy based exercise intervention. Participants with venous leg ulcers are recruited from 3 clinical sites in Australia. After collection of baseline data, participants are randomised to either an intervention group or control group. The control group receive usual care, as recommended by evidence based guidelines. The intervention group receive an individualised program of calf muscle exercises and walking. The twelve week exercise program integrates multiple elements, including up to six telephone delivered behavioural coaching and goal setting sessions, supported by written materials, a pedometer and two follow-up booster calls if required. Participants are encouraged to seek social support among their friends, self-monitor their weekly steps and lower limb exercises. The control group are supported by a generic information sheet that the intervention group also receive encouraging lower limb exercises, a pedometer for self-management and phone calls at the same time points as the intervention group. The primary outcome is the healing rates of venous leg ulcers which are assessed at fortnightly clinic appointments. Secondary outcomes, assessed at baseline and 12 weeks: functional ability (range of ankle motion and Tinetti gait and balance score), quality of life and self-management scores.


This study seeks to address a significant gap in current wound management practice by providing evidence for the effectiveness of a home-based exercise program for adults with venous leg ulcers. Theory-driven, evidence-based strategies that can improve an individual’s exercise self-efficacy and self-management capacity could have a significant impact in improving the management of people with venous leg ulcers. Information gained from this study will provide much needed information on management of this chronic disease to promote health and independence in this population.

Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000475842 Trial status: Current follow up

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 78237
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: exercise, venous leg ulcers, protocol, randomised controlled trial
DOI: 10.1186/1471-5945-14-16
ISSN: 1471-5945
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
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 O’Brien et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 30 Oct 2014 22:55
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2014 05:08

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