pressure ulcers, pressure ulcer knowledge, medical residents



  1. Levine, Jeffrey M. MD, AGSF
  2. Ayello, Elizabeth A. PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CWON, MAPWCA, FAAN
  3. Zulkowski, Karen M. DNS, RN, CWS
  4. Fogel, Joyce MD, FACP


ABSTRACT: With the aging population and increasing complexity of patients with pressure ulcers (PrUs), as well as regulatory requirements, PrUs have become an important concern for physicians. Although there are some studies that measure nurses' knowledge of PrUs, there is a paucity of literature about physician knowledge of PrUs. Given that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is holding physicians accountable for documenting PrU status on admission to hospitals and the increased need for collaboration with revisions to long-term-care documentation MDS 3.0: Skin Condition, physicians' knowledge regarding PrUs takes on new urgency. This study reports on PrU knowledge of physicians using 2 tools: the Pieper Pressure Ulcer Knowledge Tool and a wound photograph test. Physicians' mean scores of 69% on the Pieper Tool were well below average scores of nurses' 76%. Physicians had greatest difficulty identifying suspected deep tissue injury and unstageable ulcers. Pressure ulcer content, including prevention, identification, staging, and treatment, needs to be included in physician education.