ABSTRACT: With the aging population and increasing complexity of patients with pressure ulcers (PrUs), as well as regulatory requirements, PrUs have become an important concern for physicians. Although there are some studies that measure nurses’ knowledge of PrUs, there is a paucity of literature about physician knowledge of PrUs. Given that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is holding physicians accountable for documenting PrU status on admission to hospitals and the increased need for collaboration with revisions to long-term-care documentation MDS 3.0: Skin Condition, physicians’ knowledge regarding PrUs takes on new urgency. This study reports on PrU knowledge of physicians using 2 tools: the Pieper Pressure Ulcer Knowledge Tool and a wound photograph test. Physicians’ mean scores of 69% on the Pieper Tool were well below average scores of nurses’ 76%. Physicians had greatest difficulty identifying suspected deep tissue injury and unstageable ulcers. Pressure ulcer content, including prevention, identification, staging, and treatment, needs to be included in physician education.
Using 2 assessment tools, the authors report their findings regarding pressure ulcer knowledge of physicians.
Jeffrey M. Levine, MD, AGSF, is Attending Physician, Beth Israel Medical Center Advanced Wound Healing Center, New York, New York.
Elizabeth A. Ayello, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CWON, MAPWCA, FAAN, is Faculty, Excelsior College, School of Nursing, Albany, New York; Senior Advisor, The John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing, New York, New York; President, Ayello, Harris & Associates, Inc, Copake, New York; Clinical Editor, Advances in Skin & Wound Care, Ambler, Pennsylvania.
Karen M. Zulkowski, DNS, RN, CWS, is Associate Professor, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana.
Joyce Fogel, MD, FACP, is Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.
The authors have disclosed they have no financial relationships related to this article.
Acknowledgments: The authors thank Reuven Moser, MD; Stephanie Goodman DO; and Sin Kei Yeung, MD, for their assistance with institutional review board submission and data collection.
Submitted March 6, 2011; accepted in revised form June 8, 2011.