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Predicting Pressure Ulcer Risk

Stotts, Nancy A. EdD, RN, FAAN; Gunningberg, Lena PhD, RN

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: November 2007 - Volume 107 - Issue 11 - p 40–48
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000298058.25564.8a
FEATURE: How To try this

Overview Pressure ulcers are a serious concern in caring for older adults in all settings. In addition to being painful and expensive to treat, they can significantly compromise a patient's mental, emotional, and social well-being. The Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk assesses a patient's risk of developing these ulcers so that those judged to be at risk can receive preventive care. The scale consists of six subscales and can be completed in just one minute. (This screening tool is included in a series, Try This: Best Practices in Nursing Care to Older Adults, from the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University's College of Nursing.) For a free online video demonstrating the use of this tool, go to

In administering the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk, nurses evaluate patients on six subscales: sensory perception, activity, mobility, skin moisture, nutritional intake, and friction and shear.

Nancy A. Stotts is a professor at the School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, where she is associate director of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. Lena Gunningberg is an assistant professor and leader of the Department of Nursing Research and Development, Surgery Division, at Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.

Contact author: Nancy Stotts,

The authors have no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.

How to Try This is a three-year project funded by a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation to the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University's College of Nursing in collaboration with AJN. This initiative promotes the Hartford Institute's geriatric assessment tools, Try This: Best Practices in Nursing Care to Older Adults: The series will include articles and corresponding videos, all of which will be available for free online at Stotts and Sherry A. Greenberg, MSN, APRN, BC, GNP (, are coeditors of the print series. The articles and videos are to be used for educational purposes only.

Routine use of a Try This tool may require formal review and approval by your employer.

Using the Braden scale with hospitalized older adults: the evidence supports it.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.