To determine the number of specialised wound care units/clinics (SWCUs) in Spain, at present, and to describe their most important characteristics.
This was an observational study with a descriptive-analytical, cross-sectional, multicentre approach, where the studied population consisted of SWCUs in Spain. A specific data-collection questionnaire was designed using a modified Delphi method, consisting of four rounds, with the collaboration of 10 wound experts. The final questionnaire included 49 items distributed across four dimensions/areas with a content validity index (CVI-Total for pertinence=0.96 and CVI-Total for relevance=0.94.
A total of 42 SWCUs were included in the study. Most SWCUs were based in hospitals (n=15, 35.7%) or healthcare centres, covering a specific healthcare area (n=17, 40.5%). SWCU coordinators were primarily nurses (n=33, 78.6%). Staff members' professions in SWCUs included registered nurses (n=38 units, 92.7%), nursing assistants (n=8 units, 19.5%), podiatrists (n=8 units, 19.5%), vascular surgeons (n=7 units, 17%), osteopaths (n=2 units, 4.8%) and medical doctors from different specialties (n=3 units, 7.2%). For wound aetiology, the most prevalent wounds managed were diabetic foot ulcers (n=38 units, 90.5%), followed by venous leg ulcers (n=36 units, 85.7%) and arterial ischaemic ulcers (n=36 units, 85.7%). A statistically significant association was found between the number of staff members in a SWCU and the existence of resistance/opposition barriers when developing a SWCU (Chi-square test, p=0.049; Cramér's V=0.34; 34%), as well as between resistance/opposition barriers when developing a SWCU and a nurse as coordinator of a SWCU (MacNemar test, p=0.007, Cramér's V=0.35; 35%).
The typical SWCU implemented in Spain is located in a hospital or integrated in a healthcare structure that offers coverage to a whole health area and providing services for people with hard-to-heal wounds (wound management and prevention) and health professionals (advice, consultancy and training/education). Despite the growing number of SWCUs in Spain, the future of this new organisational model is uncertain, as there can be barriers to creating them and some deficiencies, such as low staff numbers, which need to be addressed.