Compression hosiery in the elderly reduces falls and is easily donned thanks to simple donning devices

This One-Pager presents the promising findings of two studies that will motivate elderly people and their caregivers to use compression therapy. It is available for download in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.

Compression hosiery in the elderly reduces falls and is easily donned thanks to simple donning devices

Background

Compression therapy in the elderly is an effective treatment for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). However, it is met with skepticism due to the practicalities of applying & removing medical compression stockings (MCS).

 

Study 1: MCS & postural stability

Aim

Elderly people are at greater risk of falls than younger people. This study (1) investigated whether leg stimulation with MCS aids postural regulation in the elderly.

Experimental procedure

The effects of MCS on postural stability were evaluated on stable and unstable surfaces during a balancing task.

Participants:

  • 46 participants
  • healthy
  • 65-84 years
  • male: n=23
  • female: n=23

Treatments:

  • barefoot
  • placebo
  • 8-15 mmHg MCS
  • 20-30 mmHg MCS

Primary endpoints:

Stabilometric parameters measuring somatosensory function. Their decrease is associated with a reduced risk of falling.

Results

MCS reduced the levels of stabilometric parameters (especially on an unstable surface). MCS had an immediate positive effect on somatosensory function and postural regulation.

Study1_results.png

Study 2: MCS and donning devices

Aim

Donning and doffing medical compression hosiery is extremely difficult for elderly patients. This study (2) examined whether donning devices facilitate donning in the elderly.

Experimental procedure

Successful donning of MCS was analyzed either with or without donning devices.

Participants:

  • 40 patients
  • >65 years
  • severe CVI (C4-C6)
  • male: n=17
  • female: n=23

MCS:

  • one 40mmHg
  • two superimposed 20+20mmHg

Donning devices:

various, including EasySlide, EasySlide Caran (SIGVARIS), or none.

Primary endpoints:

  • Complete donning and correct positioning of MCS
  • Subjective patient evaluation

Results

Donning devices significantly improved donning success. SIGVARIS devices were among the most successful. Donning with a device was rated significantly better than without.

 

Take-home message

Wearing knee-length compression socks could be included as a viable intervention in addition to other forms of balance training to reduce the risk of falling in elderly people.

Donning devices should be mentioned by physicians to encourage elderly patients and their caregivers to wear and comply with compression therapy.

Further reading

Mild-compression diabetic socks safely reduce lower extremity edema in patients with diabetes

Mild-compression diabetic socks safely reduce lower extremity edema in patients with diabetes

This One-Pager reviews the effects of mild-compression diabetic socks on lower extremity oedema in patients with diabetes. It is published in English, German, French, Italian, Polish and Spanish.
Peripheral oedema: causes, diagnosis and treatment with compression therapy.

Peripheral oedema: causes, diagnosis and treatment with compression therapy.

This One-Pager describes different forms of oedemas, their clinical features, and why compression therapy is essential. It is published in English, German, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.
Compression therapy in veno-lymphatic disorders

Compression therapy in veno-lymphatic disorders

This One-Pager discusses different types of compression products in veno-lymphatic disorders. It focuses on characteristics of compression therapy types and on how to choose the best garment for an individual patient. This One-Pager is published in English, German, French, Italian, Polish and Spanish.
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