OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of a Web-based Braden Scale training module on nurses' knowledge of pressure-ulcer risk assessment and prevention.
DESIGN: Pre-experimental, posttest-only design.
SETTING: Web-based learning environment.
PARTICIPANTS: Registered nurses (N = 1391) working at 3 medical centers in the Midwest.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes of interest were reliability and competence associated with using the Braden Scale for pressure-ulcer risk assessment. Secondary outcomes of interest focused on program evaluation, specifically nurses' perceptions of program adequacy and ease of use.
MAIN RESULTS: After training, nurses correctly rated Braden Scale level of risk 82.6% of the time. Numeric ratings for Braden subscales were generally more reliable when case-study data indicated extreme risk levels (generally not at-risk level, high-risk level, and very high level) than when data indicated midlevels of risk (mild-risk level and moderate-risk level). Nurses' knowledge of appropriate risk-based preventive interventions was high, but correlated poorly with the ability to correctly assign numeric ratings to Braden subscales.
CONCLUSION: Web-based training alone may not ensure reliable, competent estimates of pressure-ulcer risk for patients at all risk levels. Other strategies, such as clinical practice with expert supervision, should be considered. Further research is needed to clarify the links between scoring Braden subscales correctly and selecting appropriate risk-based preventive interventions.