Prevalence of wounds in a community care setting in Ireland

J Wound Care. 2009 Oct;18(10):405-17. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2009.18.10.44602.


Objective: To establish the prevalence of wounds and their management in a community care setting.

Method: A multi-site, census point prevalence wound survey was conducted in the following areas: intellectual disability, psychiatry, GP practices, prisons, long-term care private nursing homes, long-term care, public nursing homes and the community/public health (district) nursing services on one randomly selected day. Acute services were excluded. Formal ethical approval was obtained. Data were collected using a pre-piloted questionnaire. Education was provided to nurses recording the tool (n=148). Descriptive statistical analysis was performed.

Results: A 97.2% response rate yielded a crude prevalence rate of 15.6% for wounds across nursing disciplines (290/1,854 total census) and 0.2% for the community area (290/133,562 population statistics for the study area). Crude point prevalence ranged from 2.7% in the prison services (7/262 total prison population surveyed) to 33.5% in the intellectual disability services (72/215 total intellectual disability population surveyed). The most frequent wounds recorded were pressure ulcers (crude point prevalence 4%, 76/1,854 total census; excluding category l crude point prevalence was 2.6%, 49/1,854 total census), leg ulcers (crude point prevalence 2.9%, 55/1,854 total census), self-inflicted superficial abrasions (crude point prevalence 2.2%, 41/1,854 total census) and surgical wounds (crude point prevalence 1.7%, 32/1,854 total census).

Conclusion: These results support previous international research in that they identify a high prevalence of wounds in the community. The true community prevalence of wounds is arguably much higher, as this study identified only wounds known to the nursing services and excluded acute settings and was conducted on one day.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Nursing* / organization & administration
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Leg Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution
  • Skin Care / economics
  • Skin Care / nursing
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Wound Healing
  • Wounds and Injuries / economics
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / nursing