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J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2012 Nov-Dec;39(6):613-21; quiz 622-3. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e31826a4d83.

Predictive power of the Braden scale for pressure sore risk in adult critical care patients: a comprehensive review.

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Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, New Jersey 07631, USA.


Critical care is designed for managing the sickest patients within our healthcare system. Multiple factors associated with an increased likelihood of pressure ulcer development have been investigated in the critical care population. Nevertheless, there is a lack of consensus regarding which of these factors poses the greatest risk for pressure ulceration. While the Braden scale for pressure sore risk is the most commonly used tool for measuring pressure ulcer risk in the United States, research focusing on the cumulative Braden Scale score and subscale scores is lacking in the critical care population. This author conducted a literature review on pressure ulcer risk assessment in the critical care population, to include the predictive value of both the total score and the subscale scores. In this review, the subscales sensory perception, mobility, moisture, and friction/shear were found to be associated with an increased likelihood of pressure ulcer development; in contrast, the Activity and Nutrition subscales were not found to predict pressure ulcer development in this population. In order to more precisely quantify risk in the critically ill population, modification of the Braden scale or development of a critical care specific risk assessment tool may be indicated.

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