Knowledge, attitudes and practice among nursing staff concerning pressure ulcer prevention and treatment – a survey in a Swedish healthcare setting


Ulrika Källman, Dermatology Department, South Älvsborg Hospital, Borås, Sweden


The aim of this study was to investigate (i) attitudes among Registered Nurses (RNs) and Nursing Assistants (NAs) regarding pressure ulcer prevention, (ii) knowledge among RNs and NAs of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, (iii) practice of risk assessment and documentation regarding pressure ulcers among RNs and NAs and (iv) to identify perceived possibilities and barriers in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment. In this cross-sectional study, a total of 230 questionnaires were distributed to an equal number of RNs and NAs in both municipality as well as hospital care settings. The response rate was 67% (n = 154). In general, all respondents displayed good knowledge on prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers and demonstrated a positive attitude towards this area of care. However, answers provided to some questions indicate that recent research findings and guidelines have not succeeded in reaching out to these occupational groups. Furthermore, only 37% (n = 55) of the participants said that they have an agreed strategy for the prevention of pressure ulcers in their unit. These shortcomings may affect the quality of care provided to the patient and lead to pressure ulcers developing as a consequence. Today, evidence-based methods for risk assessment are available but are not adopted and used in practice. The study highlights the need to further reduce the gap between research and practice.