Prevalence of chronic wounds and structural quality indicators of chronic wound care in Dutch nursing homes

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The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of (infected) chronic wounds in Dutch nursing homes and to explore which signs and symptoms are used to diagnose infected chronic wounds. Moreover, it was to determine which structural quality indicators related to chronic wound care at ward and institutional levels were fulfilled. In April 2012, as part of the annual National Prevalence Measurement of Care Problems of Maastricht University [Landelijke Prevalentiemeting Zorgproblemen (LPZ)], a multi-center cross-sectional point-prevalence measurement was carried out together with an assessment of relevant care quality indicators. The prevalence was 4·2%; 16 of 72 (22%) chronic wounds were considered to be infected. Increase of exudate (81·3%; n = 13), erythema (68·8%; n = 11), pain (56·3%; n = 9) and wound recalcitrance (56·3%; n = 9) were considered to be diagnostic signs and symptoms of a chronic wound infection. Although at institutional level most quality indicators were fulfilled, at ward level this was not the case. Despite the relatively low number of residents, we consider our population as representative for the nursing home population. It may be an advantage to appoint specific ward nurses and to provide them specifically with knowledge and skills concerning chronic wounds.

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