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Pressure Ulcers in Elderly in Health Settings


Pressure ulcers are areas of necrosis and ulceration on soft tissues that happen due to pressure or pressure in combination with shear. Pressure ulcers lead to significant patient’s pain level, adversely affect the patient’s quality of life, resulting in a continuous economic burden on the health care system. The purpose of the capstone project is the evaluation of interventions that address pressure ulcers in older adults in a health setting. The approaches used to examine the problem are a systematic review of scholarly articles and the evidence-based intervention implemented to conduct a study on the topic. The expected outcome is the suggestion to use a specific intervention method for older adults to prevent pressure ulcers.

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Problem Statement

Pressure ulcers are a severe problem for patients and professionals that affect millions of people worldwide, resulting in deterioration of patient’s health status and the increase of inpatient days and recovery delays for medical executives. Analysts state that “systematic review studies show a wide range of PU prevalence rates among hospitalised patients: 3.1% to 30.0% in the United States.” (Chen et al., 2020, para. 12).

The number of hospitalized patients with pressure ulcers rose by more than 75% between 1993 and 2006 in the US. This level increase mostly occurred in patients who faced pressure ulcers during hospitalization. “An estimated 2.5 million cases of pressure ulcers are treated each year in acute care settings in the US, resulting in a significant financial burden to patients and health care institutions” (Grada & Phillips, 2019, para. 3).


The primary question that will be addressed with the capstone project is the following: “Does the usage of the pressure-relieving mattress and protective heel protector methods of pressure ulcer prevention in elderly patients decreases the risk of pressure ulcer’s occurrence during hospitalization?” Some studies highlighted the possibility of using pressure relieving mattresses to manage pressure ulcer development and prevent it, ensuring that during the hospitalization, patients will not face the issue (Greenwood et al., 2017).


The pre-intervention data will be collected across the acute health setting in a hospital 2 weeks before introducing intervention, using clinical data collected by medical employees internally on the pressure ulcer’s incidence in elderly patients during hospitalization. The intervention will be the application of a pressure-relieving mattress and protective heel protector methods. The intervention will be implemented during the time of the capstone project, 1-2 weeks will be given to train the medical executives and introduce the project to patients who agreed to participate, for 7 weeks the intervention will happen in an acute health setting to oversee the progress, 2 weeks will be given for the analysis of results and performance of post-intervention data measurement.

The pre-and post-intervention data will be gathered using Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Ulcer Risk and will be statistically analyzed across pressure ulcer incidence, stage of any new pressure ulcer, and deterioration of the pre‐existing category pressure ulcer variables using the SPSS system.


Timeline Actions
1stof March The start of the project
1-14 of March Introduction of the project, training, pre-intervention data gathering
15 of March – 4 of April The implementation of the project, initial data collection, progress report to the manager of acute health setting at the end of each week
5-25 of April The adjustments, according to the manager’s feedback, the continuation of the intervention
26 of April – 9 of May The post-intervention data collection, analysis of all data points gathered
10 of May The end of the project; presentation of results that conclude whether the intervention is effective or not

The timetable is realistic for the capstone project, includes specific stages of the project and the main objective. The regular updates will be provided to the hospital’s acute health setting manager each week to gather feedback and adjust the actions. The progress will be demonstrated using timelines with checkpoints, and the final presentation will be delivered to medical executives.

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Chen, G., Lin, L., Yan-Lin, Y., Loretta, C. Y., & Han, L. (2020). The prevalence and incidence of community-acquired pressure injury: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 99(48), e22348. Web.

Grada, A. & Phillips, T. (2019). Pressure ulcers. Merck Manuals. Web.

Greenwood, C. E., Nelson, E. A., Nixon, J., & McGinnis, E. (2017). Pressure‐relieving devices for preventing heel pressure ulcers. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2017(5), CD011013. Web.

Jaul, E., Barron, J., Rosenzweig, J.P. et al. (2018). An overview of co-morbidities and the development of pressure ulcers among older adults. BMC Geriatr, 18(305). Web.

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