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Nursing students' skills in applying short-stretch compression bandages using the control of compression bandaging score

22 June 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 12



To assess the feasibility using the Control of Compression Bandaging (CCB) score to measure skills development on short-stretch compression therapy during a second-year nursing students' workshop.


A quasi-experimental pilot study with one group.


All students followed a blended learning unit comprising an e-learning unit on leg ulcers and compression therapy including videos, followed by hands-on workshops where they could exercise how to apply short-stretch compression bandages. Clinical nurse specialists in wound care collected pre- and post-workshop measures. Data collection included feasibility, absolute pressure under compression bandages and the CCB score.


Six clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) collected data and 16 students participated in this pilot study. The mean application time was 8.02 minutes (min=2, max=20) pre and 9.25 minutes (min=5, max=17) post workshop. Pressure under compression bandages increased at the forefoot (P=0.01) and the calf muscle base (P=0.03) post workshop. One extreme outlier was observed. In addition, the CCB score increased from 3.57 to 4.47 (P=0.16). Using pressure measuring devices was described as essential by all the CNSs and the CCB score was easy to use.


Using the CCB score and pressure measuring devices were feasible during an undergraduate education session. Recruitment procedure and modality of data collection were satisfactory. This score may be a valuable way to assess students' skills in short-stretch compression therapy. If used for formal assessment, a passing score should be defined.

Venous leg ulcers (VLU) are defined as open skin lesions on the leg or foot resulting from venous hypertension (O'Donnell et al, 2014), and are the most frequent of all leg ulcers (Poskitt and Gohel, 2016; Guest et al, 2020). According to the CEAP clinical classification (where C stands for clinical, E for etiological, A for anatomical, and P for pathophysiological), VLUs are a symptom of the highest grade of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) (Eklöf et al, 2004), which sometimes result from a non-healed trauma of the leg (Probst et al, 2020). The mean healing time of VLUs is estimated at 13 months in European countries (Gethin et al, 2021). Once healed, a recurrence rate of 57 % at 1 year and up to 80 % at 3 years have been reported (Finlayson et al, 2015). This chronic and recurrent condition imposes a financial burden of £941 million per year on the UK healthcare system (Guest et al, 2017). More specifically, unhealed VLUs are 4.5 times more expensive to treat than healed ones (Guest et al, 2018).

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