Can a Camera Help Improve Wound Healing?
Photographic documentation may help people with difficult-to-see wounds feel more involved in their wound care.
When someone suffers a wound, their clinicians can help find the best wound healing plan to ensure the affected area heals quickly and with the least risk of infection or scarring. However, success of the recovery plan relies heavily on the patient’s adherence to the treatment regimen. Unfortunately, many people fail to follow the directions of their clinician, which can lead to complications like infection.
Health care professionals are always looking for new ways to get patients more involved and aware of the necessity for proper wound care. Now, a group of researchers from the Wound Care Centre at Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto have found that using a camera to document the affected area may be beneficial.
Conducting the study
A study published in the International Wound Journal looked into the effect that photographic documentation of a wound from the perspective of the patient could improve his or her involvement in the wound care process. The researchers wanted to determine if use of a camera, particularly on difficult-to-see parts of the body, could enhance wound management. For the study, they analyzed patients in a wound care clinic, of which 86 percent had difficult-to-see wounds and 20 percent were not involved in wound management, relying instead on the clinician to track their healing progress. One’s ability to see the affected area significantly affected the patient’s ability to remember what it looked like, and those who could not see their wounds reported feeling less autonomy.
Using a survey, the researchers discovered that a majority (81 percent) of patients believed that photographing their wounds could help them track the progress. Additionally, 58 percent thought that such camera use would allow them to be more involved in the treatment plan. With this information a hand, the scientists concluded that from the perspective of the patient, wound photography is beneficial and can enhance the healing process. The group suggested that camera use, particularly when it comes to difficult-to-see wounds, can encourage patients to become more involved in wound care and management.
Considering these findings, you may want to bring up the use of photographic documentation to your clinician. Along with helping find the right wound dressing for your particular needs, he or she may advise you on how to properly document the affected area.
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