Predicting pressure ulcer development in clinical practice

Natasha Miller, David Frankenfield, Erik Lehman, Melissa Maguire, Victoria Schirm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Accurate patient assessment and screening for pressure ulcer (PU) is difficult in the clinical setting, and evaluation of nutritional status is especially problematic. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the extent to which Braden Scale scores and other nutrition screening parameters (body mass index, poor intake, and weight loss) predict PU development in general and heel and sacral ulcers specifically. METHODS: Records of 230 hospitalized patients who developed PU were compared to a matched control group without PU. Logistic regression was used to determine the association of total Braden scores, Braden nutrition subscale scores, and nutrition factors with PU development at any time, within week 1, or within week 2 of hospitalization; and development of sacral and heel ulcers at these same periods. RESULTS: Braden Scale scores on hospital admission were predictive of hospital-Acquired pressure ulcer development at some point during the hospital stay; and more specifically Braden scores on day 7 were predictive of PU development within week 2 of hospitalization. Among nutrition screening factors and PU development, a low body mass index showed a statistically significant relationship with sacral ulcer development. CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that the overall Braden score is a valid predictor of PU development. Implications for clinical practice to decrease the risk for PU development include appropriate use of reliable and valid scales by nurses along with careful evaluation of nutrition parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 23 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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