Ousey, Karen and Roberts, Deborah (2016) Exploring Nurses and Patients Feelings of Disgust Associated with Malodorous wounds - A Rapid Review. Journal of Wound Care, 25 (8). pp. 438-442. ISSN 0969-0700

To identify primary empirical research related specifically to feelings of disgust associated with malodorous chronic cutaneous wounds.
A rapid review of the literature using the key words disgust; wounds; malodour and psychosocial.
A total of 163 papers were retrieved with 7 papers being included for the final review. Themes emanating from the review were malodour, healthcare professionals coping with malodour and disgust. Malodour is a concern to patients which can sometimes go unreported by nursing staff; although the reasons for this remain unclear. The coping mechanisms developed by nurses in response to 'disgusting' wounds requires further exploration in order for a fuller understanding of these mechanisms to be achieved. This review has identified that both healthcare professionals and patients can become distressed at wound odours yet there is little evidence that is available to guide people as to how to manage these feelings.
Hard to heal or chronic cutaneous wounds such as leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers are an increasing global healthcare issue. Whilst some research has been undertaken to explore the psychological impact of living with a fungating carcinomas; much less has been written about the management and mitigation of feelings of disgust for patients and families living with a malodorous wound or how healthcare professionals can effectively provide psychosocial care.

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