Nursing assessment: impact on type and cost of interventions to prevent pressure ulcers

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J Wocn

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



Objective: To describe pressure ulcer preventive interventions and their cost, and to compare the preventive intervention use and cost with level of risk. Design: Comparative, descriptive design. Setting and Subjects: A large midwestern Veteran's Affairs Medical Center with 260 long-term care beds. Thirty-one chair- or bed-bound residents from 1 long-term care unit comprised the study sample. Main Outcome Measures: The outcome variables included demographic information (patient record), Braden Risk Assessment score, institutional risk assessment score (Pressure Ulcer Risk Tool), type and frequency of preventive interventions, and the related costs. Methods: Subjects were assessed on a weekly basis for type and frequency of preventive intervention and for the development of a pressure ulcer. Each subject was observed until death, discharge, pressure ulcer formation, or the end of the 3-month study period. Results: The 3-month pressure ulcer incidence rate was 13%. All subjects were at risk for pressure ulcer development according to Braden scores; whereas only 74% were assessed at risk with use of the facility's risk assessment tool. Preventive measures included regular repositioning (87%); 67% were placed on mattress support surfaces. There was no relationship between level of risk (facility risk tool score) and type of prevention used. The total cost of pressure ulcer prevention to the nursing unit was $14 926, representing a mean of $497 per subject, and $5.55 per subject per day. Conclusion: As compared with previous studies, the higher cost of prevention described in this study may be attributed to inadequate linkage of preventive interventions to risk level.


Pressure Ulcer -- Economics, Pressure Ulcer -- Prevention and Control, Pressure Ulcer -- Nursing, Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk, Clinical Assessment Tools, Long Term Care, Nursing Assessment, Risk Assessment, Interrater Reliability, Descriptive Statistics, Costs and Cost Analysis, One-Way Analysis of Variance, Pressure Ulcer -- Epidemiology, Incidence, Descriptive Research, Hospitals, Veterans, Midwestern United States, Female, Male, Patient Positioning -- Economics, Pillows and Cushions -- Economics, Beds and Mattresses -- Economics, Risk Assessment -- Economics, Record Review, Human

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing, 25:6 (1998) pp.273-280.

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