Sub-epidermal moisture assessment as an adjunct to visual assessment in the reduction of pressure ulcer incidence

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of sub-epidermal moisture (SEM) assessment technology as an adjunct to visual assessment to reduce pressure ulcer (PU) incidence alongside standard PU care pathways. METHOD: Data were obtained from wards located within 28 institutions in the UK, Canada, Belgium, Spain and Ireland. At each ward, the proportion of patients scanned who were observed to have one or more PUs of Category 2 or above during a pre-Pressure Ulcer Reduction Programme (PURP) implementation period starting between November 2017 and July 2018 was recorded. The proportion of patients scanned who were observed to have one or more PUs of Category 2 or above during a post-PURP implementation period starting between November 2018 and July 2019 was also recorded. A meta-analysis was conducted on the data using wards as the unit of analysis, to facilitate overall estimate of the PURP. A sensitivity study was also conducted to assess the sensitivity of results to data from specific institutions. RESULTS: A synthesised estimate of the overall relative risk (RR) was calculated to be 0.38 (95% confidence interval 0.26 to 0.56). Hence the risk of PU in the post-PURP cohort was about one-third that of the corresponding risk in the pre-PURP cohort. The sensitivity analysis revealed no evidence that any individual ward exerted excessive influence on the findings. CONCLUSION: The analysis has revealed strong evidence that implementation of the PURP was associated with reduction in incidence of Category 2 or above PUs across a wide range of clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of wound care
Volume31
Issue number3
Early online date24 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2022

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