Factors predicting the development of pressure ulcers in an at-risk population who receive standardized preventive care: secondary analyses of a multicentre randomised controlled trial

J Adv Nurs. 2015 Feb;71(2):391-403. doi: 10.1111/jan.12497. Epub 2014 Aug 19.


Aims: To identify predictive factors associated with the development of pressure ulcers in patients at risk who receive standardized preventive care.

Background: Numerous studies have examined factors that predict risk for pressure ulcer development. Only a few studies identified risk factors associated with pressure ulcer development in hospitalized patients receiving standardized preventive care.

Design: Secondary analyses of data collected in a multicentre randomized controlled trial.

Methods: The sample consisted of 610 consecutive patients at risk for pressure ulcer development (Braden Score <17) receiving standardized preventive care measures. Patient demographic information, data on skin and risk assessment, medical history and diagnosis were collected during 26 months (December 2007-January 2010). Predictive factors were identified using multivariate statistics.

Results: Pressure ulcers in category II-IV were significantly associated with non-blanchable erythema, urogenital disorders and higher body temperature. Predictive factors significantly associated with superficial pressure ulcers were admission to an internal medicine ward, incontinence-associated dermatitis, non-blanchable erythema and a lower Braden score. Superficial sacral pressure ulcers were significantly associated with incontinence-associated dermatitis.

Conclusions: Despite the standardized preventive measures they received, hospitalized patients with non-blanchable erythema, urogenital disorders and a higher body temperature were at increased risk for developing pressure ulcers.

Relevance to clinical practice: Improved identification of at-risk patients can be achieved by taking into account specific predictive factors. Even if preventive measures are in place, continuous assessment and tailoring of interventions is necessary in all patients at risk. Daily skin observation can be used to continuously monitor the effectiveness of the intervention.

Keywords: multivariate analysis; nursing; predictive factors; pressure ulcers; prevention; risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Erythema / complications
  • Female
  • Female Urogenital Diseases / complications
  • Fever / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Male Urogenital Diseases / complications
  • Pressure Ulcer / etiology*
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control
  • Risk Assessment