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An interprofessional approach to pressure ulcer prevention: a knowledge and attitudes evaluation

Authors Clarkson P, Worsley PR, Schoonhoven L, Bader DL

Received 21 November 2018

Accepted for publication 12 February 2019

Published 23 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 377—386


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Paul Clarkson,1,2 Peter R Worsley,1 Lisette Schoonhoven,1,3 Dan L Bader1

1School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK; 2Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Calmore, UK; 3Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands

Background: Pressure ulcers (PUs) are a major burden to individuals, impacting their physical, mental and social wellbeing. While PU prevention is traditionally regarded as a nursing issue, an interprofessional approach has been promoted as best practice. However, little is known about current practice or the knowledge and attitudes of the wider interprofessional team (IPT).
Purpose: Pre-designed questionnaires were used to explore knowledge and attitudes with healthcare staff in the community.
Methods: Questionnaires were disseminated to all healthcare staff within a community healthcare Trust predominantly via an online tool. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: The median values of all professional groups demonstrated satisfactory attitudes (>75%) and levels of knowledge (>60%) to PU prevention. However, there were differences within and between groups. Management staff demonstrated the most positive attitude to PU prevention (89%), followed by occupational therapists (OTs) and healthcare assistants (HCAs) (87%, IQR: 75%→89%). OTs demonstrated the highest scores for knowledge (69%, IQR: 62%→73%), while healthcare and rehabilitation assistants scored the lowest (58%, IQR: 58%-64%).
Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that the majority of healthcare staff in a UK community setting have satisfactory levels of knowledge and attitudes in relation to PU prevention overall. Nevertheless, there were some differences between groups, albeit non-significant. There were also differences between sub-themes of the questionnaires, indicating a greater focus of pressure ulcer treatment over prevention. While PU prevention is widely regarded to be a nursing issue, these findings provide some indication of the potential for an interprofessional approach.

Keywords: pressure ulcer, interprofessional, knowledge, attitudes, community, questionnaire

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