More evidence is needed before the efficacy and safety of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) technologies used in home settings can be determined, an unnamed entity conducting research for the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) says in the draft of a new report posted online today.
“Though NPWT has been used across the wound care spectrum, significant research gaps remain,” reads the draft technology assessment, titled “Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Technologies.” (PDF) “Standardization of wound care research protocols, such as providing consistency in comparator groups, robust randomized study designs, larger trials and common definitions of outcomes, would be helpful in providing evidence to inform decisions about the use of NPWT,” the draft continues.
The AHRQ is accepting comments on the draft report until July 16.
The researchers arrived at their conclusions after searching the MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases. They examined studies covering the use of NPWT in people with venous leg ulcers, arterial leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and other chronic wounds. Of the 5,332 citations found via search, seven studies met study inclusion criteria. Six of them compared NPWT technologies with other wound-care methods, and the other study compared two different NPWT devices.
Related article: Wound care trends highlighted in report