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Prevalence of Skin Tears in a Long-Term Care Facility

LeBlanc, Christensen, Cook, Culhane, and Gutierrez (2013) authored the article the “Prevalence of skin tears in a long-term care facility”. The research was quantitatively conducted to investigate the prevalence rate of skin tears among patients in a long-term care facility setting. The study seeks to answer the question of the prevalence rate of skin tears among persons in a long-term care facility situation (LeBlanc et al., 2013).

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The study also investigates the body parts that are more susceptible to the ailment, as well as the predisposing factors of skin tears. The research question is founded on the existing literature and findings from previous studies on the same topic. To support their work, the authors cite the results of a 1994 research, which was conducted in a 347-bed facility. The study revealed a 41.5% skin tear prevalence rate within the target population. The authors’ findings reveal skin tear as a more common health issue among the elderly groups when compared to the situation among the young generation.

Initial Objectives (Hypothesis)

The study was meant to prove the hypothesis that skin tear is a healthcare issue that is slowly turning to be a major concern for the healthcare providers. The authors adopted a quantitative study design to gather the required data. Each participant was assessed for the condition and information regarding the location and number of skin tears recorded. Data collection process took a period of one day, a 6-hour session. Two nurses did the collection of data. One was from the health facility while the other was an experienced enterostomal therapist nurse. The results of the study revealed that out of the 113 participants, 25 of them suffered from the condition.

Assessment of Research Methods

The author does not provide a literature review in the article. Articles that report the findings of any research include a literature review section in which they examine the information regarding the topic under investigation. The primary motive of reviewing the literature is to create a convincing or evidence-based argument about the importance of the research topic (Shearer & Adams, 2012). However, in the currently reviewed article, the authors overlook the importance of a literature review section. It is not captured in the work. Nonetheless, the authors compare the results of their research with findings from previous studies on the same topic.

The research is current and relevant in today’s medical practice. Skin tear continues to affect many people around the globe, a situation that underscores the need to research more about the disease. Additionally, the article explores the prevalence of the illness among the elderly population as a new area of research. Previous researchers have overlooked the importance of exploring the prevalence rates of the illness in the aged people who are at a higher risk of being affected by the condition (LeBlanc et al. 2013). Therefore, this research can be said to be relevant to the current health issues since it provides insights into the issue. It suggests the ways of preventing the condition.

This study uses a non-experimental research method. Non-experimental research refers to a study in which the researcher has no control over the variables (Bleske-Rechek, Morrison, & Heidtke, 2015). In this type of research, the sample is not divided into two, as it is witnessed in an experimental study. In the latter study, one class represents the experimental group while the other represents the placebo (Bleske-Rechek et al., 2015). Results from this kind of research exhibit a high level of external validity, thus facilitating generalization, although this goal is not achievable as revealed later in this paper because of the small sample size deployed. From the above description, it can be concluded that a non-experimental approach was adopted in this research. The study does not divide the sample into 2. Besides, no control is evident. Thus, the method is suitable since it guarantees a high level of external validity. Additionally, the researchers are not in a position to manipulate the variables.

The sample was composed of 113 patients drawn from a 114-bed LTC facility situated in Canada (LeBlanc et al., 2013). All the participants were required to provide their consent, either personally or by proxy, before being recruited for the study. All patients in the facility were eligible for the study, thus eliminating bias. The sample was fairly selected, although it was too small to give the desired results for the generalization of results. Additionally, the sample was drawn from a single LTC facility. As a result, it would not represent the targeted population.

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The sample would be more reliable if it were to be selected from several facilities located in different countries. All the participants were educated on the purpose of the study. Besides, they were informed about what to expect from the study before they were asked to provide their consent. Participants were aged between 36 and 107 from both genders (LeBlanc et al., 2013). However, female participants outnumbered their male counterparts in the study since women were 82 out of the sampled 113 respondents. The facility from which the sample was taken is a unit of 30 other units in the country. Thus, the sample was unbiased. The choice to pick participants from a facility with other branches is an informed one since it would represent the actual conditions in all branches.

This work seems practical since it explores a real problem that is affecting most health centers all over the world. Research into the issue of skin tear is important since the area has been overlooked by previous researchers, despite its great significance to the affected groups. The research explains ways in which cases of skin tear can be reduced, hence imparting more knowledge to healthcare providers (LeBlanc et al., 2013). The authors explain that early detection and treatment of the condition would help to avert complications that result from skin tears in the end. The practicality of the study can also be seen from how the research itself is conducted. The sample was drawn from a healthcare facility where 25 participants showed signs of skin tear out of the 113 participants, a clear indicator that the issue is important to the nursing practice.

The study took place in just a single facility in Canada. The sample size was too small to represent the target population. In my opinion, the study would produce results that are more practical if a larger sample was to be used. A larger sample size would allow the generalization of the results. Additionally, the study would be improved through recruiting the sample from several facilities spread across the world for general results to be obtained.

The authors present their ideas in a clear and straightforward manner throughout the article. The ideas are well interwoven. The flow is unquestionably smooth. The authors start by explaining the technical terms to give the reader an easy time when going through the article. Additionally, they divide the article into parts for simplicity and easy following. They begin with an explanation of the nature of the problem investigated before analyzing the findings by previous scholars to give an insight to the reader concerning the research question. The authors also give a summary of the major themes before presenting the actual research.

The findings from this research can be used as a basis for conducting future studies on this topic. Prospective research should use a larger sample that consists of patients recruited from different hospitals. The sample size in this study is too small to the extent that it cannot provide reliable and generalizable results. For instance, it does not provide evidence to support the contribution of cognitive function and aggressive behaviors in skin tears (LeBlanc et al., 2013). Therefore, future research should aim at proving the results from this study and using a more reasonable sample to fill the gap left.


The study investigated the prevalence rate of skin tears among the elderly in a long-term care facility. The study assessed 113 patients where 25 of them had skin tears. The findings of this study are consistent with those of other researches on the same topic. The study proves the existing literature regarding the condition. It touches on the ailment among the old in the society who are prone to the condition. However, the study is limited by the small sample size used. However, the research can be used as the basis for future works on the same topic. Such prospective research should include a larger sample recruited from a number of hospitals.


Bleske-Rechek, A., Morrison, K., & Heidtke, L. (2015). Causal inference from descriptions of experimental and non-experimental research: Public understanding of correlation-versus-causation. Journal of General Psychology, 142(1), 48-70.

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LeBlanc, K., Christensen, D., Cook, J., Culhane, B., & Gutierrez, O. (2013). Prevalence of skin tears in a long-term care facility. Journal of Wound Ostomy & Continence Nursing, 40(6), 580-584.

Shearer, D., & Adams, J. (2012). Evaluating an advanced nursing practice course: Student perceptions. Nursing Standard, 26(21), 35-35.

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