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.