Document Detail

The trend of pressure ulcer prevalence rates in German hospitals: results of seven cross-sectional studies.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19297160     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Pressure ulcer prevalence rates provide useful information about the magnitude of this health problem. Only limited information on pressure ulcers in Germany was available before 2001. The purpose of this study was to compare results of seven pressure ulcer prevalence surveys which were conducted annually between 2001 and 2007 and to explore whether pressure ulcer prevalence rates decreased. The second aim was to evaluate if the measured prevalence rates of our sample could be generalised for all German hospitals. Results of seven point pressure ulcer prevalence studies conducted in 225 German hospitals were analysed. Chi-square tests, chi-square trend tests and one-way ANOVA to assess differences and trends across the years were applied. The sample was stratified according to pressure ulcer risk and speciality. Finally, study samples were compared with the potential population. In total data of 40,247 hospital patients were analysed. The overall pressure ulcer prevalence rate in German hospitals was 10.2%. Patient samples of each year were comparable regarding gender, age and pressure ulcer risk. Pressure ulcer prevalence rates decreased from 13.9% (year 2001) to 7.3% (year 2007) (p<0.001). When excluding non-blanchable erythema prevalence rates decreased from 6.4% (year 2001) to 3.9% (year 2007) (p=0.015). An explicit decrease of prevalence rates was observed on geriatric wards. Prevalence rates on neurological and intensive care units remained stable. With some limitations our study results are representative for all hospitals within Germany. It is highly probable that the decrease of prevalence rates was due to an increased awareness of the pressure ulcer problem in Germany and subsequent efforts to improve pressure ulcer prevention and treatment. The quality of clinical practice regarding pressure ulcer prevention and treatment has improved. However, pressure ulcers are still relevant and require attention. In 2007, one out of 10 hospital patients who were at pressure ulcer risk had at least one pressure related skin damage.
Jan Kottner; Doris Wilborn; Theo Dassen; Nils Lahmann
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article     Date:  2009-03-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of tissue viability     Volume:  18     ISSN:  0965-206X     ISO Abbreviation:  J Tissue Viability     Publication Date:  2009 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-03-30     Completed Date:  2009-07-15     Revised Date:  2009-10-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9306822     Medline TA:  J Tissue Viability     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  36-46     Citation Subset:  N    
Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Centre for Humanities and Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Science, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Age Distribution
Aged, 80 and over
Cross-Sectional Studies
Germany / epidemiology
Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
Inpatients / statistics & numerical data
Middle Aged
Pressure Ulcer / epidemiology*,  pathology,  prevention & control

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