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Pain to identify pressure ulcers early

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A £2 million, five year research programme has been initiatied to find if pain can pinpoint pressure ulcers early.

The research looks at two themes, risk assessment and quality of life. There are six research studies looking at pain and its role in predicting pressure ulcer risk, developing a pressure ulcer risk assessment  framework and quality of life.

Presenting preliminary results of the study looking at pain and pressure ulcers, Lyn Wilson, Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Leeds, said patients with pressure ulcers describe pain as “their most important symptom”. She said, “When patients report pain to a health professional before a pressure ulcer develops their concerns are often ignored”.

The researchers found 43% of patients with pressure ulcers in acute care experienced pain compared with 76% in the community. And 16% of patients in acute care who had no skin damage complained of pressure area pain.

This raises research questions about whether pain is a predictor of pressure ulcer development and whether it should be part of the risk assessment process.

To read more about this research visit ctru.leeds.ac.uk/skin

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