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PRISM, chronic wounds, patient quality of life, self-assessment tools



  1. Monari, Paola MD
  2. Pelizzari, Laura
  3. Crotti, Silvia MD
  4. Damiani, Giovanni MD
  5. Calzavara-Pinton, Piergiacomo PhD
  6. Gualdi, Giulio MD


OBJECTIVE: PRISM (Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure) is a nonverbal visualization instrument. The authors chose to use this tool to avoid the limitation of the other tests for the assessment of quality of life by using interview methods that depend on the cognitive and cultural level of the patient. The aim of the study was to assess the impact on the quality of life of different types of chronic wounds using the PRISM test.


SETTING: The PRISM test was administered by the same medical student to each patient visiting the dermatology department for a routine visit and medication.


PARTICIPANTS: The PRISM test was administered to 77 patients with chronic cutaneous ulcers referred to the Dermatology Department of the Spedali Civili of Brescia, Italy.


MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors analyzed the "Self-llness-Separation"' (SIS) value, which resulted from the PRISM test, and related it to sex, age, and ulcer etiology.


RESULTS: Considering all categories, the mean SIS was 9.58 cm; a different perception of the disease between the sexes was noted and also in the subgroups based on the ulcer's different etiology. In addition, the age of the affected patients influenced the SIS value.


CONCLUSIONS: PRISM is an easy and sensitive instrument to record information about the patient's expectations and suffering in order to improve the overall physician-patient relationship.