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Inpatients felt that pressure ulcers had emotional, mental, physical, and social effects on quality of life because nurses did not adequately treat or manage their pain or discomfort

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Q What are inpatients’ experiences of pressure ulcers, their treatment, and effects on health and quality of life?


Qualitative study.


Medical, elderly care, orthopaedic, and vascular surgery wards in 4 National Health Service hospitals in the UK.


Purposive sample of 23 hospital inpatients 33–92 years of age (median age 78 y, 78% women) who had pressure ulcers graded 2–5 (2  =  partial thickness wound in the epidermis or dermis, 5  =  black eschar) at various body sites (eg, heel, sacrum, buttock). Most were admitted to hospital for reasons other than a pressure ulcer, and most had a chronic condition (eg, diabetes, leg ulcer, stroke).


Patients participated in semistructured interviews and were asked questions about their general health, pressure ulcers (when they developed, duration, and treatment), and the effect of ulcers and treatments on physical health, functional ability, psychological well-being, and social relationships. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded, and analysed for themes.


Patients’ descriptions of their health and quality …

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  • For correspondence: Dr K Spilsbury, University of York, York, UK. ks25{at}

  • Source of funding: NHS R&D Health Technology Assessment Programme.