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Critical Care Physicians: Attitudes, Beliefs, and Knowledge about Pressure Ulcers

Cox, Jill PhD, RN, APN-C, CWOCN; Roche, Sharon DNSc, RN, APN-C, CCRN; Gandhi, Nisha MD

Advances in Skin & Wound Care: April 2013 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p 168–176
doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000428863.34294.9d
Features: Original Investigation

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine critical care physicians’ attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge toward pressure ulcer (PrU) prevention and treatment in critical care patients.

DESIGN: Descriptive, correlational

PARTICIPANTS: 56 critical care physicians

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Survey instrument developed to collect demographic information and information regarding attitudes and beliefs about PrUs and PrU knowledge.

RESULTS: The majority of physicians (69%) reported poor to adequate basic medical education training on PrU prevention and treatment. Sixty percent reported never attending a PrU lecture. Most physicians reported their role to be important to very important in the areas of PrU prevention (71.4%) and treatment (67.9%). Physicians’ perceived knowledge regarding PrU prevention and treatment was most frequently reported as adequate (48%) and poor (37%). The mean score on the knowledge test was 18.1 (range, 12–24; SD, 2.26), equating to a percentage score of 75%. No significant relationship was found between physicians’ perceived PrU knowledge and actual knowledge score.

CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence rates of acquired PrUs in critical care adult patients are cited as the highest among hospitalized patients; thus, critical care physicians encounter patients at risk for or with PrUs regularly in clinical practice. Management of a critically ill patient requires a cohesive, multidisciplinary approach, including prevention and/or management of PrUs. The critical care physician, as a vital member of this team, may benefit from PrU education in an effort to heighten awareness of this phenomenon in critical care patients.

The authors investigate critical care physicians’ attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge toward pressure ulcer prevention and treatment in critical care patients.

Jill Cox, PhD, RN, APN-C, CWOCN, is Advanced Practice Nurse/Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurse, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, New Jersey; is Assistant Professor, Rutgers University, College of Nursing, Newark, New Jersey. Sharon Roche, DNSc, RN, APN-C, CCRN, is Critical Care Advanced Practice Nurse; and Nisha Gandhi, MD, is Critical Care Attending Physician, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, New Jersey.

The authors have disclosed that they have no financial relationships related to this article.

Submitted February 16, 2012; accepted in revised form July 27, 2012.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.