Clinical and ethical challenges in undertaking LIMPRINT in vulnerable populations
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Background and Study Objective: To estimate the prevalence of chronic edema (CO) and wounds within two vulnerable populations, a male high security prison in the East Midlands (United Kingdom) and residential and nursing homes in the United Kingdom and Australia. Methods and Results: Methods for screening for CO and wounds were adapted from the main LIMPRINT methodology. Prison Population: In total, 195 inmates were recruited with 22 (11%) having CO. While the majority were white Caucasian (156/83.4%) a further 20 (10.7%) were dark skinned with 11 (5.95%) from other minority populations. Comorbidities included 123 (63%) smokers, 22 (11%) alcohol dependant, 60 (31%) with mental health problems, and 35 (18%) a history of self-harm. Only three had a current wound with 30 (16%) having had a traumatic stab wound. Residential and Nursing Homes (United Kingdom and Australia): In the United Kingdom, the total population available for inclusion was 189 with only 137 (73%) recruited. Seventy-two of the 137 (52%) suffered from CO and a further 16 (23%) had a history of cellulitis. Results from the Australian residential care facilities have been published in full. In summary, of the 37 participants 20 (54%) experienced CO with 25 (68%) having comorbidities and 11 (30%) having a concurrent wound. Conclusion: Obtaining an accurate picture of the prevalence and impact of CO in vulnerable populations is extremely challenging due to issues of access and consent. Lack of reliable data for these populations will contribute to poor service provision.