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Keywords:

  • patient mobility;
  • patient safety;
  • pressure injury;
  • pressure ulcer;
  • pressure ulcer prevention

Pressure injury guidelines recommend regular repositioning yet patients' mobility and repositioning patterns are unknown. An observational study using activity monitors was undertaken to describe the 24 h activity patterns of 84 hospitalized patients at risk of developing a pressure injury. The vast majority of participants' time was spent in the sedentary activity range (94% ± 3%) followed by the light range (5% ± 4 %). Patients changed their posture a median of 94 (interquartile range 48) time in the 24-h period (range 11–154), or ≈ 3.8 times per hour. Although a main focus for pressure injury prevention has been on repositioning, this study shows that patients with restricted mobility are actually moving quite often. Therefore, it might be appropriate to focus more attention on other pressure injury prevention strategies such as adequate nutrition, appropriate support surfaces and good skin care.