Development of a simple multidisciplinary arthroplasty wound-assessment instrument: the SMArt Wound Tool
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Background: There are currently no validated instruments in the orthopedic literature for assessing the healing of acute surgical wounds. The creation of a simple wound-assessment tool would provide a standardized method of reporting wound outcomes. The objective of this study was to systematically develop a wound-assessment tool that can be used to assess the early healing of arthroplasty incisions. Methods: The databases MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane reviews and CINAHL were searched. Articles that described objective assessment of acute incisional wounds were included. Items for the wound-assessment tool were then extracted from eligible studies based on the frequency of reporting. A multidisciplinary panel of wound experts compiled the items into an initial tool to assess key domains of wound healing. The items were reduced through several iterations of panel discussion. Results: Our search strategy yielded 3743 results, which were screened by title and abstract. Thirty-four studies were included in the systematic review for the development of the wound-assessment tool, and 10 domains were extracted based on frequency of reporting. After item reduction, the final version of the wound-assessment tool, the SMArt Wound Tool, contained 3 major domains: blistering, peri-incisional skin colour and exudate type. Conclusion: There is currently a need for a standardized tool to assess the healing of orthopedic surgical incisions. The SMArt Wound Tool provides a simple, objective method of assessing arthroplasty incisions for the presence of early complications.
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