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Br J Nurs. 1996 Mar 14-27;5(5):313-4, 316-20.

Pressure sore prevention: using and evaluating risk assessment tools.


The Department of Health issued clinical practice guidelines in June 1995 concerning the prevention and treatment of pressure sores (United Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, 1995). The guidelines were produced through a combination of review of the research evidence, debate in expert panels and wide consultation (Hitch, 1995). This article reviews the section of the guidelines concerning risk assessment. It looks at the research evidence evaluating risk assessment tools, noting problems which exist in interpreting the evidence, and the conclusions that can be reasonably drawn from it. It also discusses the idea of developing and evaluating risk assessment protocols based on routinely used risk assessment tools to ensure that the information acquired through such assessments is used appropriately to allocate effective preventive interventions.

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