The primary objective of the VenUS IV study is to compare the clinical and cost effectiveness of compression hosiery compared with 4-layer compression bandaging in terms of ulcer healing and quality of life.
Venous leg ulcers are a common condition, particularly in older people, and are caused by problems in the leg veins. Compression therapy, usually applied as bandages, is effective in helping leg ulcers to heal. A new type of compression therapy, in the form of two layers of compression stocking, is now available and we have been funded by the National Institute for Health Research to find out which of these commonly used treatments is the best.
The best method of comparing two treatments is by conducting a randomised controlled trial (also called a clinical trial, and an RCT) and that is the method we are using in VenUS IV. We are recruiting people with venous leg ulcers who would be eligible for either form of compression and the choice of treatment is selected randomly in a way that cannot be chosen or predicted. This method ensures we compare the two alternative treatments fairly. We are also keen to ensure that the results of VenUS IV reflect what happens in the typical NHS situation and so the doctors and nurses who are participating can use their normal decision making processes to decide on the best care pathway for their patients.
VenUS IV aims to recruit 489 participants and is taking place in a number of areas across the UK. In each area we are working with local specialist teams who care for people with leg ulcers.