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Strategies for reducing pain at dressing change in chronic wounds: protocol for a mapping review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fiona CampbellORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. INTRODUCTION: Although pain experienced at dressing change has been reported as the worst aspect of living with chronic wounds, UK guidance for their management is primarily tailored to wound healing and only attends to pain as a secondary consideration. Consequently, there is little up-to-date guidance that specifically addresses how patients, carers and healthcare professionals should manage wound-related pain at dressing change. This mapping review will identify, describe and appraise the existing research evidence for strategies used to assess pain intensity and prevent or alleviate pain at dressing change in chronic wounds. In addition, it will highlight areas for future research and inform the development of up-to-date guidance for healthcare professionals. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will search MEDLINE and Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations and Daily (via Ovid SP), Embase (via Ovid SP), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (via Wiley Cochrane Library), Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (via EBSCO) and the Web of Science Citation Index Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index (via Clarivate Analytics). Screening will be undertaken independently by two reviewers, with any disagreements resolved through discussion. Included studies will be subject to coding, using a tested data extraction tool, by two reviewers working independently. The methodological quality of the studies included will be reviewed using quality assessment instruments appropriate for each study design (Cochrane Risk of Bias tool (RoB 2); Risk of Bias in Non-randomised Studies of interventions tool; Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool). Data will be described narratively and also presented visually in an interactive web-based evidence and gap map. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: As this mapping review does not collect original data, ethical approval is not applicable. Findings will be disseminated via a written report, an interactive online mapping tool and in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021260130.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kirkcaldy AJ, Wilson M, Cooper R, Baxter SK, Campbell F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMJ Open

Year: 2023

Volume: 13

Issue: 10

Online publication date: 09/10/2023

Acceptance date: 31/08/2023

Date deposited: 24/10/2023

ISSN (print): 2044-6055

ISSN (electronic): 2044-6055

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-072566

PubMed id: 37813540


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Funder referenceFunder name
National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)