Cellulitis is the 6th most common diagnostic related group in Australia, accounting for cases in both public and private hospitals (AIHW, 2012). The personal cost of cellulitis is one of disfigurement, discomfort, loss of function and a potentially reduced capacity to earn. The financial implications can include loss of income; treatment cost, and medications. In broader societal terms, the Cellulitis-specific cost to healthcare institutions in Australia in 2006-2007 reached $30,858,280 (AIHW, 2012) including costs incurred to Medicare. The personal financial cost is unknown. There is a plethora of information, in particular from a clinical perspective, on the topic of lower limb Cellulitis. However, there is a noticeable paucity regarding the lived experience of people with lower limb Cellulitis. Therefore, this study will address the gap in knowledge by undertaking a phenomenological study of the lived experience of people with lower limb Cellulitis. The research question that will guide the research process is: What is the lived experience of people with lower limb Cellulitis? Given that the question guiding this study is located in lived experiences, phenomenology is the methodology underpinning this study. The importance of discovering the experiences for people living with lower limb Cellulitis can be justified by the significant burden of disease generated by lower limb Cellulitis.
Why my research is important/Impacts
Cellulitis of the leg is an 'ugly' disease and not very popular. The unseen impact of this illness creates pain, sepsis and potentially death. The financial impost globally is also significant. Giving voice to those with this diagnosis will inform health professionals and policy makers. It will also allow the unseen sufferers visibility.