Foot ulcers in people with diabetes are a prevalent and serious global health issue. Wound dressings are regarded as important components of ulcer treatment, with clinicians and patients having many different types to choose from including hydrocolloid dressings. There is a range of different hydrocolloids available including fibrous-hydrocolloid and hydrocolloid (matrix) dressings. A clear and current overview of current evidence is required to facilitate decision-making regarding dressing use.
To compare the effects of hydrocolloid wound dressings with no dressing or alternative dressings on the healing of foot ulcers in people with diabetes.
We searched The Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (searched 4 January 2012); The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 4); Ovid MEDLINE (1950 to December Week 3 2011); Ovid MEDLINE (In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, January 03, 2012); Ovid EMBASE (1980 to 2011 Week 52); and EBSCO CINAHL (1982 to 30 December 2011). There were no restrictions based on language or date of publication.
Published or unpublished randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that have compared the effects on ulcer healing of hydrocolloid with alternative wound dressings or no dressing in the treatment of foot ulcers in people with diabetes.
Two review authors independently performed study selection, risk of bias assessment and data extraction.
We included four studies (511 participants) in the review: these compared hydrocolloids with basic wound contact dressings, foam dressings and alginate dressings. Meta-analysis of two studies indicated no statistically significant difference in ulcer healing between fibrous-hydrocolloids and basic wound contact dressings: risk ratio 1.01 (95% CI 0.74 to 1.38). One of these studies found that a basic wound contact dressing was more cost-effective than a fibrous-hydrocolloid dressing. One study compared a hydrocolloid-matrix dressing with a foam dressing and found no statistically significant difference in the number of ulcers healed. There was no statistically significant difference in healing between an antimicrobial (silver) fibrous-hydrocolloid dressing and standard alginate dressing; or an antimicrobial dressing (iodine-impregnated) and a standard fibrous hydrocolloid dressing.