Pressure ulcer prevalence and incidence in intensive care patients: a literature review

Nurs Crit Care. 2008 Mar-Apr;13(2):71-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-5153.2007.00249.x.

Abstract

Background: Pressure ulcers remain a common health problem worldwide within the different health-care settings, especially in intensive care settings.

Aims: The aims of this were to systematically assess the recent prevalence and incidence of pressure ulcers in intensive care patients (2000-2005), the factors related to pressure ulcer prevalence and incidence and the methodological rigour of studies about pressure ulcer prevalence and incidence in intensive care patients.

Methods: The research design involved a review of literature for the period of 2000 to 2005, focused on the prevalence and incidence of pressure ulcers in intensive care patients.

Results: The analysis of published papers revealed variations in pressure ulcer prevalence in intensive care settings ranging from 4% in Denmark to 49% in Germany, while incidence ranged from 38% to 124%. There was a wide variation in the prevalence and incidence of pressure ulcers in intensive care patients as evidenced in the studies examined. There is also a gap between theory and practice in the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers which needs to be addressed.

Conclusion: Further research is needed regarding the effectiveness of nursing care on pressure ulcer development and into treatments that may successfully prevent their occurrence in intensive care patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Nursing Care
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors