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Stating the Problem of Pressure Ulceration

Pressure ulceration, which is also known as pressure ulcers, pressure sores, or bedsores, is a widespread condition, affecting more than 3 million people in the United States, that needs significant consideration from healthcare professionals and researchers (Santamaria et al., 2015). Even though this disorder is well-recognized in the medical academic literature as well as in evidence-based practice, it still poses important challenges for the contemporary health care system. Dealey et al. (2015) state that pressure ulceration is a largely preventable disease, but “extensive training and the expenditure of a large amount of resources” does not help to reduce the incidence of the disease significantly. Therefore, it is essential to promote research in this area of concern. This paper aims to identify a research topic as well as a research question for further development of the research proposal on the topic.

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Research Topic

As it was stated previously, pressure ulceration is a preventable disease. Therefore, it is logical to focus on the aspect of prevention in the future research proposal. However, to develop the proposal appropriately, it is critical to narrow down the research topic so that the proposal would be concise and comprehensive.

Firstly, it is important to observe the principal characteristics of the disease. In the article by Qaseem, Mir, Starkey, and Denberg (2015), the following definition of the condition is proposed: pressure ulcers are “localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue, usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure alone or in combination with shear” (p. 359). Additionally, Santamaria et al. (2015) argue that “the mechanical effects of pressure, shear, friction, and moisture at the skin/surface interface” are the core mechanisms of the condition’s development (p. 304). Moreover, the authors add that the prevention of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers in critically ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients “remains a significant and persistent clinical challenge” (Santamaria et al., 2015, p. 302). Accordingly, it is possible to formulate the research topic as follows: the implementation of effective evidence-based interventions for ICU patients that are at risk of developing pressure ulceration.

Research Questions

As the topic has been formulated, it is appropriate to develop research questions that will guide the research process. Since the problem of pressure ulceration and its prevention is well-recognized in the contemporary scholarly literature, it would be appropriate to dwell upon the studying of the existing approaches to the given issue. It is also evident that every research question should focus on a particular aspect of the overall research topic. Therefore, the following questions are proposed:

  1. What is the most recent statistical data on the ICU patients that are at risk of developing pressure ulcers?
  2. What are the existing evidence-based interventions for the prevention of pressure ulceration among ICU patients, or patients in general?
  3. What is the most efficient example of intervention?
  4. How could the existing approach to preventing pressure ulcers could be improved?
  5. How would the proposed improvements influence patient outcomes?


In conclusion, it is of high significance to state that the problem of pressure ulceration is a highly important issue in the contemporary health care system since it has an immense impact on patient outcomes and the provision of high-quality care. The paper exemplifies the preventable nature of the condition, and it also emphasizes the fact that the current state of pressure ulcer prevention could be improved significantly. Therefore, a research topic along with several research questions was formulated. They will serve as the basis for the development of a research proposal in the future.


Dealey, C., Brindle, C. T., Black, J., Alves, P., Santamaria, N., Call, E., & Clark, M. (2015). Challenges in pressure ulcer prevention. International wound journal, 12(3), 309-312.

Qaseem, A., Mir, T. P., Starkey, M., & Denberg, T. D. (2015). Risk assessment and prevention of pressure ulcers: A clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 162(5), 359-369.

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Santamaria, N., Gerdtz, M., Sage, S., McCann, J., Freeman, A., Vassiliou, T.,… Knott, J. (2015). A randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of soft silicone multi-layered foam dressings in the prevention of sacral and heel pressure ulcers in trauma and critically ill patients: The border trial. International wound journal, 12(3), 302-308.

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