Risk assessment scales for pressure ulcer prevention: a systematic review.
The aims of the study were (i) to investigate the prevalence of pressure ulcers in patients with hip fracture, on arrival at a Swedish hospital, at discharge, and two weeks post-surgery; (ii) to test whether clinical use of the Modified Norton Scale (MNS) could identify patients at risk for development of pressure ulcers; and (iii) to compare the reported prevalence of pressure ulcer in the experimental group, where risk assessment and classification of pressure ulcers was performed on a daily basis, with that of the control group, where it was not. The study design was prospective, with an experimental and a control group. The intervention in the experimental group consisted of risk assessment, risk alarm and skin observation performed by the nurse on duty, in the A & E Department, and daily throughout the hospital stay. To facilitate the nurse's assessment, a 'Pressure Ulcer Card' was developed, consisting of the MNS and descriptions of the four stages of pressure ulcers. On arrival at the hospital, approximately 20% of patients in both groups had pressure ulcers. At discharge, the rate had increased to 40% (experimental) and 36% (control). Clinical use of the MNS made it possible to identify the majority of patients at risk for development of pressure ulcers. Patients who were confused on arrival developed significantly more pressure ulcers than patients who were orientated to time and place. No significant difference was found in the reported prevalence of pressure ulcers between the experimental and control groups.