Pressure injuries (PIs) represent a significant burden on the healthcare system and have a negative impact on the quality of life of those affected by these wounds. Despite best practice guidelines and other protocols to help healthcare facilities prevent PIs, the prevalence of PIs in Canada across all healthcare settings is concerning.
To describe the pattern of PI prevention and identify national priorities and opportunities to address PIs.
A descriptive, cross-sectional, online survey was created between August and December 2017 to explore Canadian healthcare professionals’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to PIs.
In total, 590 surveys were completed. Eighty-five percent of respondents confirmed that PIs occur in their work environments, and 29% claimed PIs are a frequent occurrence. Most of the respondents (91%) confirmed that they were part of a team that treats PIs. Of the 590 participants, 90% confirmed that they are aware of PI prevention devices and technologies. Between 80% and 90% attest to using offloading devices including prophylactic dressings to prevent PIs, but only 20% instituted measures to address moisture-associated skin damage.
The findings from this survey have highlighted a disconnect between Canadian healthcare professionals’ awareness of PIs and the implementation of best practices for PI prevention. It is evident that, although the majority of respondents were aware of PIs and related treatment protocols, barriers still exist that impede optimized care and treatment.