EWMA Compression Therapy Programme

Project period: 2019–ongoing

EWMA is currently working on a project aiming to support optimal use of compression therapy (CT) in leg ulcer management across the Europe.

This project proposal is based on reports from our network of national European wound management organisations, stating CT is generally not used according to available evidence and best practice recommendations. This means that

  1. CT is often not introduced, although it could be of great benefit to the patient,
  2. CT it is not used in the right way, or
  3. that CT is introduced too late.

This leads to suboptimal healing outcomes for patients with leg ulcers and represents a potential patient safety issue.

The project working group is currently working on an awareness campaign targeting health care providers with no specialisation in wound management. The campaign will be launched during the EWMA 2021 virtual conference. 


Programme achievements so far

Audit (UK)

The audit was conducted in 6 community sites in the UK in the autumn-winter 2019-2020
Patients reviewed so far: 2885 (From a population of: 1.75m residents).

The aim of the audit is to enable providers and commissioners to understand the needs of their population, as well as support better use and targeting of diminishing resources.

To do this, the audit aims to establish:

  • The impact of demographics
  • Impact of service design
  • Quality interventions
  • Where resources are being used
  • Workload burden

The preliminary audit results will be presented during the EWMA 2020 Virtual Conference. First findings were also presented in the EWMA Webinar Dilemmas of understanding and optimising compression in leg ulcers which can be watched on-demand below. 


European scoping review

The review was initiated in spring 2020 and will be finalised autumn 2020. The preliminary results of the review will be presented during the EWMA 2020 Virtual Conference. 

To explore the use, misuse or non-use of compression therapy in lower limb wound healing and the second will seek to identify established improvement interventions that relate to key aspects of compression therapy

Review questions

  1. What are the priorities for improvement in the use of compression therapy across Europe?
  2. What is the evidence about the use, misuse or non-use of high compression therapy and reduced compression therapy in lower limb wound healing across Europe?
  3. What factors influence the use of high compression therapy and reduced compression therapy in lower limb wound healing across Europe?
  4. What guidance is used to inform the use of high compression therapy and reduced compression therapy in lower limb wound healing across Europe?
  5. What are the barriers and facilitators related to the appropriate use of high compression therapy and reduced compression therapy in lower limb wound healing across Europe?
  6. What if any narrative about the use of high compression therapy and reduced compression therapy influence patient care?



The group is currently working on a series of webinars which will present and discuss the potential challenges and opportunities of compression therapy. 

The first webinar was held on 27 May 2020 and can be watched on demand here



About the project

The EWMA Compression Therapy programme is a 3-5-year project with 3-4 phases. 

  • Phase 1: Development of an evidence-based quality improvement programme in the UK
  • Phase 2: Awareness & education programme targeting France and Germany
  • Phase 3: Awareness & education targeting Italy and Spain
  • Phase 4: Guideline development (May be initiated in parallel to phase 2-3)

The quality improvement programme developed for UK will be used in the development of national level initiatives aiming to create change in UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. 

    Working group

    Sue Bale (EWMA Council), UK

    Mark Collier, (LUF) UK

    Alison Hopkins (Accelerate CIC), UK

    Kirsi Isoheranen (EWMA Council), Finland

    Sylvie Meaume (SFFPC), France

    Christina Moffatt (ILF), UK

    Elena Conde Montero (EWMA Council), Spain

    Giovanni Mosti (ICC), Italy

    Kerstin Protz (ICW), Germany

    Ray Samuriwo (TVS), UK

    Jürg Traber, Switzerland (EWMA Education Committee)

    José Verdu Soriano (GNEAUPP, EWMA Council), Spain

    Project aims and objectives

    The overall aim of the programme is to:

    • Document the extent of the problem and create awareness about the current challenges related to suboptimal use of compression.
    • Identify quality improvement interventions to address these challenges in different health care contexts and national settings, and support the implementation of best practice across the relevant organisations, e.g. via targeted education.
    • Evaluate the need for, and potential format of, a European guideline on Compression Therapy.

    The EWMA Compression Therapy Programme aims to achieve this by: 

    • Conducting a data collection (UK) and European scoping review;
    • Establishing focus groups including representatives of the relevant target groups in the specific country; 
    • Engaging local health care providers via collaboration with important stakeholders in the targeted countries; 
    • Initiating an awareness campaign using the EWMA conferences and various digital platforms as a vehicle for dissemination and networking;
    • Developing easy access information for non-specialists;
    • Organising a series of workshops/webinars on the correct use of compression therapy.


    Project sponsors

    This project is supported by an unrestricted grant from:




    International partners

    National associations