Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

An exploration of public perceptions and attitudes towards maggot therapy

Nigam, Yamni; Williams, Sharon; Humphreys, Ioan; Clifford, Rebecca; Brown, Amy


Yamni Nigam

Sharon Williams

Ioan Humphreys

Rebecca Clifford

Amy Brown



The aim of the study was to explore public opinion and perceptions of maggot therapy (larval therapy), a treatment option for hard-to-heal wounds.

The study used a mixed-method approach to obtain quantitative and qualitative data. A focus group was convened to explore opinions and views of maggot therapy with a small group of members of the public. Analysis of emerging themes from the focus group was used to design an anonymised web-based survey, which was made available online to members of the public through email and social media.

The focus group participants identified four key themes concerning the acceptability of maggot therapy. The subsequent online survey was completed by 412 participants, analysis of which revealed some worries and fears. Only 36% of survey participants agreed that they would accept maggot therapy as a first choice for a hypothetical painful wound, although this number increased with wound severity. The most predominant concerns regarding maggot therapy were sensation and a feeling of disgust associated with the therapy. However, participants could see some benefits to maggot therapy.

Our study showed that public perception of maggot therapy is varied. Survey participants expressed worries and fears associated with its use. However, positive relationships existed between knowledge scores and potential acceptability of maggot therapy, suggesting that information dissemination and education may be an important factor in public perception and acceptability of maggot therapy.


Nigam, Y., Williams, S., Humphreys, I., Clifford, R., & Brown, A. (2022). An exploration of public perceptions and attitudes towards maggot therapy. Journal of Wound Care, 31(9), 756-770.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 16, 2022
Publication Date Sep 2, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 12, 2023
Journal Journal of Wound Care
Print ISSN 0969-0700
Electronic ISSN 2052-2916
Publisher MA Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 9
Pages 756-770
Public URL