Impact of prevention structures and processes on pressure ulcer prevalence in nursing homes and acute-care hospitals

Nils A. Lahmann*, Ruud J. G. Halfens, Theo Dassen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim The study aimed to give a description analysis of pressure ulcer-related structures, processes and outcomes in nursing homes and acute-care hospitals that participated once, twice and thrice in prevalence surveys. Design Repeated nationwide, multicentre, cross sectional surveys have been conducted. Methods A total of 7377 residents in 60 nursing homes and 28,102 patients in 82 acute-care hospitals in Germany participated in annual point prevalence surveys. Because of their strong differences in sampling and in order to be able to display the differences occurring during the repeated (first, second and third) participation of the institutions, they were arranged according to their frequency and order of participation. The percentage of used guidelines and risk assessment scales (structures), prevention devices and measures (processes), and prevalence and nosocomial prevalence (outcomes) among all persons at risk was calculated. Results The samples within the arranged groups showed no clinically relevant demographical differences. Nosocomial prevalence rates in hospitals dropped from 26.3% in the first year to 11.3% in the last year (nursing homes from 13.7% to 6.4%). The use of pressure ulcer-related structures remarkably increased during each repetition to more than 90%. Regarding the use of preventive measures and devices as an indicator for pressure ulcer-related processes results were more incoherent. Conclusion Repeated participation in pressure ulcer surveys led to a decrease in outcomes (lower pressure ulcer prevalence rates), to high opposite effects regarding pressure ulcer-related structures (increased use of all guidelines/risk assessment scales) and to moderate adverse effects regarding pressure ulcer-related processes (increased use of most preventive measures and devices).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • guidelines
  • nosocomial
  • outcome
  • pressure ulcers
  • prevalence
  • preventive measures

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