Amos Getanda


Problem Statement: Pressure ulcers (PU) are very common with incidences of up to 38% in acute care. They occur following prolonged period of immobility or when there is a neurological deficit. Whenever they occur, they can lead to long hospital stay, are costly and may contribute to premature mortality in patients. Since nurses are the main care providers, this study is aimed at finding out the level of awareness of pressure ulcer risk assessment and prevention among nurses in a Kenyan Hospital.

Setting: Surgical and orthopedic units of a National hospital in Kenya.

Study Population: All nurses working in these units.

Objective:  To determine the level of awareness and perceived barriers of PU risk assessment and prevention methods among nurses working in the surgical and orthopedic units.

Methodology: This was a descriptive study. All the 90 nurses who were working in these two areas during the study period were included in the study with an eventual response rate of 89% (80). Data was collected using a self-administered semi-structured questionnaires and an International PU Knowledge Test. Qualitative data was cleaned, coded and analyzed thematically while quantitative data was entered in excel worksheet and analyzed for descriptive statistics.

Results: The majority of nurses (N= 40%) had inadequate knowledge about PU risk assessment and prevention. The mean scores of the test for all participants was 22.26 out of 41 (SD = 2.3) with the lowest score in themes related to PU risk assessment, classification and preventive measures. Shortage of staff and lack of time were cited as barriers to carrying out PU risk assessment and prevention.

Conclusion: There is inadequate knowledge among nurses about PU risk assessment and prevention. Efforts should be made at nurses’ training institutions and hospitals to improve knowledge and practice of PU risk assessment and prevention.


Pressure Ulcers (PU), Nurses; awareness; Risk Assessment; Prevention

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