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Do pressure ulcer risk assessment scales improve clinical practice?

Authors Jan Kottner, Katrin Balzer

Published 23 July 2010 Volume 2010:3 Pages 103—111

DOI https://dx.doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S9286

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Jan Kottner1, Katrin Balzer2

1Department of Nursing Science, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany; 2Nursing Research Group, Institute for Social Medicine, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck, Germany

Abstract: Standardized assessment instruments are deemed important for estimating pressure ulcer risk. Today, more than 40 so-called pressure ulcer risk assessment scales are available but still there is an ongoing debate about their usefulness. From a measurement point of view pressure ulcer (PU) risk assessment scales have serious limitations. Empirical evidence supporting the validity of PU risk assessment scale scores is weak and obtained scores contain varying amounts of measurement error. The concept of pressure ulcer risk is strongly related to the general health status and severity of illness. A clinical impact due do the application of these scales could also not be demonstrated. It is questionable whether completion of standardized pressure ulcer risk scales in clinical practice is really needed.

Keywords: Braden pressure ulcer, prevention, risk assessment, nursing assessment, predictive value, clinical effectiveness, review

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