Models used in clinical decision support systems supporting healthcare professionals treating chronic wounds: systematic literature review

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, and pressure ulcers are a massive burden to health care facilities. Many randomized controlled trials on different wound care elements have been conducted and published in the Cochrane Library, all of which have only a low evidential basis. Thus, health care professionals are forced to rely on their own experience when making decisions regarding wound care. To progress from experience-based practice to evidence-based wound care practice, clinical decision support systems (CDSS) that help health care providers with decision-making in a clinical workflow have been developed. These systems have proven useful in many areas of the health care sector, partly because they have increased the quality of care, and partially because they have generated a solid basis for evidence-based practice. However, no systematic reviews focus on CDSS within the field of wound care to chronic wounds. Objective: The aims of this systematic literature review are (1) to identify models used in CDSS that support health care professionals treating chronic wounds, and (2) to classify each clinical decision support model according to selected variables and to create an overview. Methods: A systematic review was conducted using 6 databases. This systematic literature review follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement for systematic reviews. The search strategy consisted of three facets, respectively: Facet 1 (Algorithm), Facet 2 (Wound care) and Facet 3 (Clinical decision support system). Studies based on acute wounds or trauma were excluded. Similarly, studies that presented guidelines, protocols and instructions were excluded, since they do not require progression along an active chain of reasoning from the clinicians, just their focus. Finally, studies were excluded if they had not undergone a peer review process. The following aspects were extracted from each article: authors, year, country, the sample size of data and variables describing the type of clinical decision support models. The decision support models were classified in 2 ways: quantitative decision support models, and qualitative decision support models. Results: The final number of studies included in the systematic literature review was 10. These clinical decision support models included 4/10 (40%) quantitative decision support models and 6/10 (60%) qualitative decision support models. The earliest article was published in 2007, and the most recent was from 2015. Conclusions: The clinical decision support models were targeted at a variety of different types of chronic wounds. The degree of accessibility of the inference engines varied. Quantitative models served as the engine and were invisible to the health care professionals, while qualitative models required interaction with the user.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11
JournalJMIR Diabetes
Issue number2
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

©Clara Schaarup, Louise Bilenberg Pape-Haugaard, Ole Kristian Hejlesen. Originally published in JMIR Diabetes (, 21.06.2018.


  • Chronic wounds
  • Clinical decision support systems
  • Diabetes
  • Foot ulcer
  • Health personnel
  • Linear models
  • Logistic models
  • Neural networks
  • Statistical model
  • Systematic review


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