The direct cost of pressure injuries in an Australian residential aged care setting

Int Wound J. 2019 Feb;16(1):64-70. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12992. Epub 2018 Sep 21.


Pressure injuries have a negative effect on well-being and the cost of treatment places a significant burden on the health care system. Research has, however, tended to extrapolate or estimate the cost of pressure injuries resulting in uncertainty regarding the true cost of this condition. The aim of this prospective observational study was to quantify the cost of pressure injury treatment in the Australian residential aged care setting. An electronic health care record audit and observation of usual pressure injury treatment was undertaken with a sample of 20 participants who had 23 pressure injuries. The actual treatment cost, an evidence-based practice model cost, and a projected treatment cost were calculated. The overall cost of pressure injury treatment was AU$98,489.22. The average daily cost by pressure injury stage was AU$26.42 for a Stage 1 pressure injury, AU$37.17 for a Stage 2 pressure injury, AU$30.01 for a Stage 3 pressure injury, and AU$10.22 for an Unstageable pressure injury. The projected cost of treatment was AU$104,510.41. At 42 days this cost extended to AU$116,552.79. This study has quantified the cost of pressure injury treatment in a residential aged care setting. The study may inform future efforts to accurately calculate the cost of PIs and the effectiveness of strategies to reduce the economic burden of this condition.

Keywords: direct cost; observational study; older people; pressure injury; residential aged care.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Homes for the Aged / economics*
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes / economics*
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pressure Ulcer / economics*
  • Pressure Ulcer / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies