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Ostomy Wound Manage. 2000 Apr;46(4):20-6, 28-30.

Photographic assessment of the appearance of chronic pressure and leg ulcers.

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School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


The purpose of this paper was to examine the validity and reliability of using photographs of wounds to accurately assess wound status. The results of assessing wound appearance using wound photographs was compared to results obtained from a bedside assessment using the Pressure Sore Status Tool (PSST). The photographic wound assessment tool (PWAT) used in this comparison represents a modified version of the PSST and includes the six domains that can be determined from wound photographs. The PWAT was used on photographs of both chronic pressure ulcers (n = 56) and leg ulcers due to vascular insufficiency (n = 81). The photographic tool has excellent intrarater (ICC = 0.96) and interrater (ICC = 0.73) reliability and good concurrent validity (r = 0.70) compared with a full bedside assessment PSST. The PWAT has also shown to be sensitive to change in wound appearance of healing ulcers, but not nonhealing ulcers. These results would suggest that in the event that a full bedside assessment is not possible, wound photographs may be used to accurately assess wound appearance of both chronic pressure ulcers located on the trunk and vascular ulcers of the lower extremity. Establishing a valid and reliable assessment of wound healing using photographic images is of great relevance to the advancing fields of computer image analysis and telemedicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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