Optimising Patient and Health Economic Outcomes in Swedish Wound Care Practice

Project period: 2018–2020

Introduction and aim

In the early days of the development of wound care as a separate focus area in health care, Sweden was one of the early movers and perhaps one of the world leaders in this field. 

It is possible that Sweden is still one of the global leaders in the provisioning of wound care as well as on specific targets, such as avoiding amputations related to diabetic foot ulcers, but we do not know. Similarly, Sweden is perhaps still an example to follow internationally in terms of prevention of pressure ulcers, and successful treatment of lower leg ulcers, but we do not know.

What we do know, however, is that Sweden over recent years has experienced a large reduction in hospital beds, and today has a health care system, which is increasingly relying on the transferral of treatment responsibilities from GPs and hospital-based structures to home care assistant personnel with short or sometime no health care related education. 

Amongst the reasons behind this lack of knowledge is that Swedish research about these topics has for some years been limited.

The aim of this project is to change this situation, and establish the necessary data to paint the current picture of wound care in Sweden. The project expects to draw on and contribute to further development of the data available with basis in the wound registry developed by RiksSår during recent years.



  • To issue a 'call for action' and propose a specific implementation programme regarding evidence proven delivery of care for patients in Sweden suffering from non-healing wounds (in particular diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and lower leg ulcers)
  • To document the state of play in terms of prevalence and perception of wounds of the main aetiologies in Sweden.
  • Document the interrelation between wound care applied according to effective and improved treatment strategies and reduction in the use of antibiotics for treatment of infections.
  • Document the full resource allocation relating to the treatment of wounds of the main aetiologies in Sweden.



Call for Action

With the call for action, we want to show how the RiksSår model has successfully led to reductions in healing time as well as costs and use of antibiotics. This has been possible because of key elements in the RiksSår Model such as organising the approach to wound care in an increasingly multidisciplinary way and by incorporating and developing e-health technology.

Below, you can hear Dr Rut Öien and Dr Jan Apelqvist explain their views on the fundamentals for providing successful wound care.

Above on the right, you can download and read the take-home messages that were presented and distributed at the EWMA 2019 conference. They are available in Swedish and English.




Project Steering Committee

Jan Apelqvist | MD, former EWMA President | University Hospital of Malmö, Sweden

Rut Öien | MD, Chairwoman RiksSår steering group | Lund University, Sweden

Cecilia Fagerström | Professor, Dept. of Health and Caring Sciences | Linneaus University, Sweden

Sue Bale | Professor, EWMA Immediate Past President | Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, UK

Alberto Piaggesi | Professor, EWMA President | University of Pisa, Italy

Elisabeth Lindahl | RN PhD, EWMA Council Member | Umeå University, Sweden


Project sponsor

This project is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from: