Treatment of diabetic foot ulcers: review of the literature with regard to the TIME clinical decision support tool

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Journal of wound care


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this clinically orientated paper is to offer an overview of diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) dressings generally, and more specifically, their use in the treatment of DFUs. METHOD: The TIME clinical decision support tool (CDST) has been used as a clinical tool that can help clinicians bring together the different aspects of dressings for DFU treatment into a holistic approach to patient care. RESULTS: DFUs are often difficult to heal, are painful and impact negatively on the individual's quality of life. Most DFU dressings are designed to support the healing of hard-to-heal wounds and represent one part of the management of DFUs. Apart from providing a moist environment, absorbing increased exudate, enhancing granulation and assisting in autolysis, the dressings need to be cost-effective. Wound dressing selection is based on clinical knowledge that ensures the dressing is most appropriate for the individual and the wound, taking into account the comorbidities that the individual may have. CONCLUSION: This paper has highlighted how the use of the TIME CDST model can enhance clinical care and is a further tool clinicians should consider when developing and executing DFU treatment plans. Future research needs to focus on large multicentre studies using robust methodologies, given the current gaps in the evidence, to determine the effectiveness of dressing products for DFUs.

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