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Nursing issues
Higher prevalence of pressure ulcers in people receiving palliative care is not necessarily an indicator of poor care
  1. Marie Ernsth Bravell
  1. Institute of Gerontology, Jonkoping University, Jonkoping, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Associate professor Marie Ernsth Bravell, Institute of Gerontology, Jonkoping University, Jonkoping 551 11, Sweden; marie.ernsth-bravell{at}

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Commentary on: Ferris A, Price A, Harding K. Pressure ulcers in patients receiving palliative care: a systematic review. Palliat Med 2019;33:770-782. doi: 10.1177/0269216319846023.

Implications for practice and research

  • Pressure ulcers are highly prevalent in patients receiving palliative care, probably due to underlying conditions, which may provide a false-negative picture of healthcare-associated harm in the palliative care.

  • There is a need of more research on how to prevent pressure ulcers and how to increase comfort when pressure ulcers occur among palliative patients.


Pressure ulcers can be seen as an adverse event or care injury1 that causes pain and distress for the patient, but it may also cause feelings of failure of care among nursing staff and increased costs for care.2 The difficulty with pressure ulcers is the complexity, where no single factor predicts pressure ulcers, but the occurence is often an interplay of many different factors and severe conditions …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.