- OBJECTIVE: To explore the experience of patients living with complex wounds and the impact of undergoing negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) as part of their treatment. METHOD: Qualitative data were collected from eight patients, using semi-structured interviews. A purposive, stratified sampling approach was used to identify participants with a range of wound types, as well as age and gender. Participants were recruited from one primary care trust and were interviewed, following 10 days of treatment with NPWT. The matrix-based 'Framework' approach, from the National Centre for Social Research, was used to structure the analysis. RESULTS: Of the eight participants recruited, five were female and three male, with an age range of 46-77 years. Five overarching categories, with their constituent themes, were identified from the data. The first, developing a wound through crisis, has three themes: a failing body, missed diagnosis and failed professional intervention. The second category, decreased control, has four related themes: poor communication; failed wound healing; poor discharge planning and failure to recover. The third category, increased control, has four themes: understanding what is happening; symptom control; positive professional relationships and returning to health. The fourth category, using NPWT, has two themes: information and understanding of NPWT and expectations and experience of NPWT. The final category sets out participant recommendations about the device and has two themes: device issues and improving professional practice. CONCLUSION: This study investigated the experience of patients undergoing NPWT for complex wounds in the home setting and reveals a number of the psychosocial effects of using this therapy in this environment. Participants saw NPWT as an active intervention, associated with improved wound healing and symptom control. The participant experience described in this study, and the recommendations they make, provide a valuable resource to inform service improvement programmes and wound research.DECLARATION OF INTEREST: This study was supported by a research grant from Smith & Nephew Ltd.