Pressure ulcers among terminally ill nursing home residents.

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The purpose of this prospective, anthropological study was to describe and analyze the experiences and care of terminally ill nursing home residents who were admitted with or acquired pressure ulcers (PUs) after admission. Data were collected in two proprietary nursing homes. Participant observation, in-depth interviews, event analysis, and chart review were used to obtain data. A total of 64 (54.7%) of the 117 terminally ill residents in the study had PUs; 52 (81.3%) of whom died with PUs. The findings disclosed that the absence of family advocacy, inability to speak English, and inadequate staffing and lack of supervision, along with other previously reported risk factors, contributed to the development of PUs. Specifically, inadequate staffing and lack of supervision led to inadequate assistance at mealtime, infrequent repositioning, and inadequate continence care, which in turn led to weight loss, unrelieved pressure on bony prominences, and moist, irritated skin. The outcome was a high rate of residents dying with PUs. Knowledge of and attention to these risk factors can guide nurses in the prevention and management of PUs.


Copyright 1998 Slack Publishing

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Publication Title

Research in Gerontological Nursing

Published Citation

Kayser-Jones, J., Kris, A. E., Lim, K. C., Walent, R. J., Halifax, E., & Paul, S. M. (2008). Pressure ulcers among terminally ill nursing home residents. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 1(1), 14-24. doi:10.3928/19404921-20080101-06.



Peer Reviewed