Pressure ulcer prevalence and perceptions on prevention: A hospital-wide survey of health professionals

Alison L. Wong, Gurjot S. Walia, Ricardo Bello, Carla S. Aquino, Justin M. Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs) remain a problem despite numerous prevention initiatives. To understand why, it is necessary to know health professionals perceptions regarding the importance of prevention, and the usability of current initiatives. We hypothesised that positive perceptions of existing initiatives would not be correlated with low HAPU prevalence, and that health professionals would perceive the initiatives to have a low usability. Method: A two-part, online survey was developed and distributed electronically to nurses, in-training physicians and attending physicians, across all inpatient and perioperative departments of an academic hospital. Part one of the survey was the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Staff Attitude Scale on beliefs regarding PU prevention; part two was additional questions on the usability of existing preventative initiatives. The results of the survey were compared with quarterly HAPU prevalence data by hospital unit. Results: In total, 839 health professionals completed the survey (579 nurses, 131 residents, 119 attending physicians). The mean score for the AHRQ survey was 42.5 (≤40 denoting positive perceptions). There was a moderate correlation between AHRQ scores and prevalence of HAPUs (r= -0.60, p=0.402). For usability, repositioning was felt to be the most effective intervention (mean: 4.54, standard deviation (SD): 0.64), while educational posters were felt to be the least effective (mean: 3.31, SD: 0.99). Respondents generally rated satisfaction much lower, with no single initiative significantly better than the others (range: 3.213.79). Perceived effectiveness and satisfaction were all positively correlated. Conclusion: High HAPU prevalence, despite position perceptions, suggests that prevention methods are not as effective as thought, or they are not being used as widely as they should. Further research should take advantage of positive attitudes by prospectively investigating the usability of novel interventions. Declaration of interest: No financial support for this study was provided. Dr. Sacks reports personal fees from LifeCell Corporation, from LifeSprout, outside the submitted work. None of the other authors have conflicts of interest to disclose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S29-S35
JournalJournal of Wound Care
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Pressure ulcer prevalence and perceptions on prevention: A hospital-wide survey of health professionals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this