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Wound Repair Regen. 2002 May-Jun;10(3):133-40.

Health-related quality of life and pressure ulceration assessment in patients treated in the community.

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Centre for Research & Implementation of Clinical Practice, Thames Valley University, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, London, United Kingdom.


Little is known of the impact of pressure ulceration on adult patients' health-related quality of life. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact pressure ulceration has on pressure ulcer patients cared for in the community. A case control study design was used by drawing a random sample from patients receiving community nursing care, stratified by the presence of pressure ulceration. In all, 75 patients with pressure ulcers were compared with 100 controls without ulcers using the four-point ulcer grading scale described by United Kingdom consensus guidelines. Patients were interviewed using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire and activities of daily living assessed using the modified Barthel scale. Patients with pressure ulcers had significantly poorer physical function (mean difference (d) = 37.6, 95% CI 28.6-46.6, p < 0.001) and social functioning (d = 33.9, 95 % CI 24.0-43.9, p < 0.001) than published age- and sex-matched normative data from the United Kingdom. The difference between cases and controls was much smaller in these domains, with neither approaching statistical significance. After adjustment for age and gender, scores for bodily pain were poorer in patients with no ulceration (d = -10.5, 95% CI - 20.6 to - 0.4, p = 0.042) indicating greater pain in these patients compared with the cases with ulceration. Activities of daily living determined by the modified Barthel scale showed reduced self-care (d = -7.6, 95% CI -12.5 to - 2.7, p = 0.010) and mobility (d = -9.2, 95% CI -14.6 to - 3.8, p = 0.001) in patients with pressure ulceration. The overall ability to perform these activities was also significantly poorer in this group (d = -16.3, 95% CI -27.3 to -5.3, p = 0.004). While patients with pressure ulceration experience some deficits in their health-related quality of life compared with a normal population, these differences are similar to those experienced by other patients receiving community nursing care.

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