Aim To report data from the first national pressure ulcer prevalence survey in Sweden on prevalence, pressure ulcer categories, locations and preventive interventions for persons at risk for developing pressure ulcers.
Methods A cross-sectional research design was used in a total sample of 35 058 persons in hospitals and nursing homes. The methodology used was that recommended by the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel.
Results The prevalence of pressure ulcers was 16.6% in hospitals and 14.5% in nursing homes. Many persons at risk for developing pressure ulcers did not receive a pressure-reducing mattress (23.3–27.9%) or planned repositioning in bed (50.2–57.5%).
Conclusions Despite great effort on the national level to encourage the prevention of pressure ulcers, the prevalence is high. Public reporting and benchmarking are now available, evidence-based guidelines have been disseminated and national goals have been set. Strategies for implementing practices outlined in the guidelines, meeting goals and changing attitudes must be further developed.