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Reducing the impact of pressure ulcers

Date: 05 October 2015

Pressure ulcers are a widespread, cross speciality problem. They represent a major burden to patients and carers, having a detrimental effect on health-related quality of life (HRQL) and are costly to the NHS.

Professor Jane Nixon, from University of Leeds, and her NIHR-funded research team aimed to reduce the impact of pressure ulcers on patients through the Pressure UlceR Programme Of reSEarch (PURPOSE) by:

  1. early identification of patients at risk of pressure ulcers, and improved identification and investigation of patients at risk of progression to severe pressure ulcers
  2. development of methods to capture patient-reported outcomes including HRQL and health utilities for routine clinical use and in clinical trials.

Professor Nixon said: ‘The NIHR is the largest funder of applied health research in pressure ulcer prevention research worldwide. The PURPOSE programme has provided important new insights into patient risk, organisational risk, the role of pain as a predictor of pressure ulcer development and the impact of pressure ulcers upon quality of life. In the current NHS climate with a focus upon reducing patient harm, the findings provide the foundation for a step change in our approach to risk appraisal, risk management, risk investigation and engaging patients in care.’

The PURPOSE programme has provided an important body of work to improve our understanding for pressure ulcer prevention and utilised novel service user engagement methods in research and development. The programme of work has implications for patient and public involvement, clinical practice, quality/safety/health service management and future research.

Read the full report in Programme Grants for Applied Research