Teaching Matters

Pressure injury prevention

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Teaching Matters 2017 | Presentation Details | 28 NovemberNov 2017


Pressure injury prevention: Australian Nursing students knowledge and attitudes


Carey Mather, School of Health Sciences
Annette Saunders, School of Health Sciences
Andrea Miller, School of Health Sciences
Angela Jacques, Notre Dame University, Western Australia
Sarah Ringsall, School of Health Sciences


Curriculum Design for Degrees of Difference

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Stanley Burbury Lecture Theatre




Pressure injuries (PIs) significantly impact the quality of life of affected patients and continue to be a major financial burden on the healthcare system. Nurses are critical in preventing pressure injuries (Moore & Clarke 2011). Improved patient outcomes in terms of reduced rates of PIs, hospital days, morbidity and financial outputs have been directly related to healthcare workers’ level of knowledge and positive attitudes toward PI prevention (Severens et al 2002). The aim of this study was to investigate Australian Bachelor of Nursing student attitudes and knowledge of PI prevention as part of a national, cross-sectional survey. Findings from the University of Tasmania nursing student cohort were examined, to enable further evolution of an evidence-based curriculum to support PI prevention early.

A convenience sample of undergraduate students were invited to participate in this ethics approved study. Under supervision, students (n= 472) completed a previously validated paper-based questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was undertaken using SPSS™ (Version 22). Findings indicated that whilst Tasmanian students have positive attitudes towards PI prevention, their knowledge of PI prevention is poor (mean score=55.4%). However, these scores are marginally higher than the knowledge score reported by other researchers using the same tool in Belgium (49.6%) (Beeckman et al 2011) and Italy (51%) (Simonetti et al 2013). These globally low scores indicate preventative care strategies in clinical practice may be undesirably affected.

In an effort to improve undergraduate students’ knowledge of PI prevention, an online learning and teaching intervention was embedded into the 2017 first year nursing practice content. The ‘Stop the Pressure’ online learning tool was chosen because a 50% reduction in the incidence of new PIs was reported after introduction to raise awareness of healthcare professionals in eastern England (Banks 2015). The survey was repeated this semester and comparison with previous scores will be useful to evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention and provide direction for further improvement.


Banks, S., (2 July, 2015). Our journey towards elimination of avoidable pressure ulcers. Healthcare conferences UK: Eliminating Avoidable Pressure Ulcers, London. Accessed 20/10/2017 https://www.healthcareconferencesuk.co.uk/news/newsfiles/suzanne-banks_1089.pdf

Beeckman, D., Defloor, T., Schoonhoven, L., & Vanderwee, K. (2011). Knowledge and attitudes of nurses on pressure ulcer prevention: A cross-sectional multicenter study in Belgian hospitals. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 8(3), 166-176.

Moore, Z., & Clarke, E. (2011). A survey of the provision of education in wound management to undergraduate nursing students. European Wound Management Association Journal, 11(1), pp. 35-38.

Severens, J, Gabraken, J, Duivenvoorden, S, Frederiks, C (2002). The cost of illness of pressure ulcers in The Netherlands. Advanced Skin Wound Care, 15, 72-77.

Simonetti, V., Comparcini, D., Flacco, M. E., Di Giovanni, P., & Cicolini, G. (2015). Nursing students' knowledge and attitude on pressure ulcer prevention evidence-based guidelines: A multicenter cross-sectional study. Nurse Education Today, 35(4), 573-579.

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