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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Nov;50(11):1816-25.

Description of the National Pressure Ulcer Long-Term Care Study.

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  • 1ISIS, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.



To describe and provide baseline data from The National Pressure Ulcer Long-Term Care Study (NPULS).


Retrospective cohort study of detailed resident characteristics, treatments, and outcomes using convenience sampling.


One hundred nine long-term care facilities throughout the United States.


Two thousand four hundred twenty adult residents aged 18 and older, with a length of stay of 14 days or longer and who were at risk of developing a pressure ulcer, as defined by a Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk


More than 500 characteristics were obtained for each resident over a 12-week period. This paper describes the NPULS database with respect to the resident (sex, age, diagnoses, severity of illness scores, Braden Scale score, activities of daily living, cognitive ability, mobility, bowel or bladder incontinence, laboratory values, nutritional assessment, and pressure ulcer assessment documentation), treatment (nutritional interventions, pressure relieving devices, incontinence interventions, protective devices, turning schedules, and pressure ulcer treatments), and outcome variables (pressure ulcer development and healing, pressure ulcer and systemic infection, changes in nutritional status, and discharge disposition) associated with pressure ulcers. Descriptive statistics and bivariate associations were used for preliminary analyses of resident, treatment, and outcome characteristics.


The average age +/- standard deviation was 79.7 +/- 14.2; 70% of the residents were female. Fifty-three percent of residents (n = 1,293) were at risk of developing a pressure ulcer but never developed one during the study (Group 1), 19% developed a new pressure ulcer during the study (n = 457) (Group 2), 22% had an existing pressure ulcer (n = 534) (Group 3), and 6% had an existing pressure ulcer and developed a new ulcer during the study (n = 136) (Group 4). Residents who developed a new pressure ulcer (Group 2) were more likely to be female, older, cognitively impaired, and immobile than residents who had an existing pressure ulcer (Group 3).


This baseline study describes the NPULS database with respect to the resident, treatment, and outcome variables associated with pressure ulcers. Future studies will focus on multivariate analyses for risk factor prediction of pressure ulcer development and pressure ulcer healing. Research-based pressure ulcer prevention and treatment protocols can then be developed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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