LIVING WITH WOUND

Wound Treatment and Healing Process

A wound is commonly defined as a disruption to the integrity of body tissues and functions. Living with a wound not only entails the physical care of the wound itself, such as cleaning and disinfecting, irrigating, changing dressings and other treatment modalities; it also involves the emotional and psychological care of the patient.

There are physical and emotional components to successful wound care during the entire cycle of treatment and healing. Both the physical and emotional components require professional assessment and care.

Psychological Considerations

Physical pain is a common and distinct characteristic of an acute or chronic wound. There are a variety of medical treatments available to help address and manage physical pain. However, managing the psychological component of living with a wound can be more complex.

Studies show that patients who suffer from anxiety or depression about their physical condition usually experience a much slower healing process than those patients with an upbeat attitude. Emotional or psychological considerations are felt in many different ways when living with a wound. A patient who is living with a wound may experience:

  • Anxiety about potential job loss, finances and overall health outcome.

  • Depression over a reduced quality of life and loss of independence.

  • Embarrassment about potential wound odor, visible wound drainage

  • Shame or feeling like a burden on family members and caregivers.

  • Grief about loss of bodily function and an altered body image.

  • Isolation from friends and family due to decreased mobility, depending upon location and impact of wound.

  • Feelings of worthlessness may becomes overwhelming when multiple emotions are experienced.

Patients with wounds can experience a wide range of emotions. Living with a wound, whether acute or chronic, entails lifestyle adjustments. With the proper physical and emotional support, patients can successfully navigate this journey.