Impact of pressure ulcers on quality of life in older patients: a systematic review

Claudia Gorecki*, Julia M. Brown, E. Andrea Nelson, Michelle Briggs, Lisette Schoonhoven, Carol Dealey, Tom Defloor, Jane Nixon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

512 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives:To identify the impact of pressure ulcers (PUs) and PU interventions onhealth-related quality of life (HRQL).

Design: Systematic review and metasynthesis of primary researchreporting the impact of PU and PU interventions on HRQL according to directpatient reports. Quality assessment criteria were developed and applied. Dataextraction identified findings in the form of direct quotes from patients orquestionnaire items and domain results. Combined synthesis of qualitative andquantitative research was performed using content analysis to generatecategories and themes from findings. Thirteen electronic databases weresearched, and hand searching, cross-referencing, contact with experts, and anonline search was undertaken. No language restrictions were applied.

Setting: Adults with PUs in acute, community, and long-term caresettings across Europe, the United States, Asia, and Australia.

Participants: Thirty-one studies including 2,463 participants withPUs were included in the review. Ages ranged from 17 to 96.

Results: The review included 10 qualitative and 21 quantitativestudies; 293 findings, 46 categories, and 11 themes emerged. The 11 HRQL themeswere physical impact, social impact, psychological effect, PU symptoms, generalhealth, and other impacts of PUs: healthcare professional-client relationships,need for versus effect of interventions, impact on others, financial impact,perceived etiology, and need for knowledge.

Conclusion: There is evidence that PUs and PU interventions have asignificant impact on HRQL and cause substantial burden to patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
Early online date21 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • health-related quality of life
  • pressure ulcer
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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