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Evidence generation for wound care dressing selection: reviewing the issues.

J Wound Care; 26(9): 545-550, 2017 Sep 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28880759
In the UK, dressings are categorised as medical devices and manufacturers only have to provide limited evidence of effectiveness before dressings are used in clinical practice. Therefore, evidence based on clinical trial methods is scant. As a direct result, governing bodies in the UK are now recommending that decisions to select one dressing over another could mainly be made on price. Placed within the movement critiquing evidence-based practice (EBP), this paper summarises the main issues surrounding the generation of evidence in selecting dressings for wound care, which is immersed in a context that lacks resources, legislative clarity and freedom to choose methodological alternatives. Dressings are therapeutic medical devices rather than consumables and any rationalisation based on costs may have far-reaching implications for wound care clinicians through purchasing decisions and thus may limit their ability to manage wounds effectively.