The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of the Braden Scale and optimal frequency of risk reassessment in older adults receiving home health care. Data were collected from the records of 1,711 nonhospice patients aged 60 years or older who did not have pressure ulcers at the beginning of home health care. Patient records were followed forward chronologically to one of two outcomes: pressure ulcer development or pressure ulcer absence (pressure ulcer free when home health services were no longer required, institutionalization, death, or end of study period). After commencement of home health care, 108 subjects developed a stage I-IV pressure ulcer (incidence = 6.3%). A Braden Scale cutoff score of 19 provided the best measure of sensitivity (61%) and specificity (68%). Findings suggest initial assessment of pressure ulcer risk for older adults should begin on entry into home health care, and they indicate the need for weekly reassessments for the first 4 weeks with every other week reassessments thereafter until day 62, dependent on patient condition and the frequency of home visits. Reassessment with each subsequent 62-day recertification period may be sufficient for patients remaining on the active caseload.
Copyright 2001 by W.B. Saunders Company