Nurses’ Management of Patients with Pressure Ulcers in Selected Health Facilities in Murang’a County, Kenya

  • Jane Muthoni Njoroge Kenyatta University
  • Priscillah Njeri Kabue, PhD Kenyatta University
  • James Ochieng Kenyatta University
Keywords: Pressure Ulcers, Management, Debridement, Eschar
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Pressure ulcers are a common health problem in hospitalized patients, especially among patients with chronic illnesses and those with reduced mobility. The prevalence of pressure ulcers varies with health care settings and is highest in critically ill patients ranging between 15-20%. They affect the quality of life of patients and caregivers and have been associated with heavy financial burdens, extended hospital stays, higher morbidity and mortality. Inadequate prevention measures and lack of active management of pressure ulcers in early stages especially in high-risk patients result in recurrence and complicated pressure ulcers. In view of this, a descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Murang’a County, Kenya in selected health facilities with the objective of determining the management of patients with pressure ulcers. The study population was composed of one hundred and twenty-four (124) nurses working in medical and surgical wards in selected health facilities. Semi-structured questionnaires, observational checklists and focused group discussions were used to collect data. The qualitative data from the focus group discussions and observational checklist were transcribed and a summary written. The relationship between nurse’s knowledge, nurse-oriented factors and institutional factors affecting management of pressure ulcers among nurses were examined using Pearson correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis. The median age of the respondents was 37 years with at least 112 (90.3%) having diploma level of education, and 63 (50.9%) were from the medical department. The majority of the nurses (93.6%) agreed pressure ulcers can be avoided, while 58.1% preferred pressure ulcer risk assessment tools compared to 27.5% who preferred clinical judgment in the management of pressure ulcers. The majority of nurses (87.5%) who had adequate knowledge on the management of pressure ulcers mentioned immobility and bedridden patients, stroke, spinal injury, dry skin, stool and urine incontinence as major contributors to pressure ulcers. Regarding pressure ulcer risk assessment, 62.9% of nurses assessed patients for pressure ulcers though they relied on clinical judgement as 93.9% indicated there was no risk assessment scale in the wards and 5.1% were not sure. On institutional factors 61.3% of the nurses indicated that health facilities were lacking pressure ulcer reducing devices and those that had pillows and a few ripple mattresses. Regarding guidelines in the management of pressure ulcers, 75.8% of nurses indicated they were not available in the hospital. The study found an association between age and knowledge increasing the odds of effective management age (AOR = 6.83, p = 0.001); experience (AOR = 4.08, p = 0.01), and education (AOR = 22.9, p = 0.000). The nurse-oriented factors increasing the odds of effective management of pressure ulcers include nurse’s positive attitude on prevention of pressure ulcers (AOR = 2.3, p = 0.040) and nurse use of pressure ulcer risk assessment tool (AOR = 4.3, p = 0.010). On institutional factors, nurses trained on management of pressure ulcers were 4.47 times likely to effectively manage patients with pressure ulcers. Nurses who lack in-service training about pressure ulcers were less likely to effectively manage patients with pressure ulcers (AOR = 0.11, p = 0.000).  The study concludes that the nurses had adequate knowledge in management of pressure ulcers, the nurses-oriented factors and institutional factors also influence the management of pressure ulcers


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19 July, 2021
How to Cite
Njoroge, J., Kabue, P., & Ochieng, J. (2021). Nurses’ Management of Patients with Pressure Ulcers in Selected Health Facilities in Murang’a County, Kenya. East African Journal of Health and Science, 3(1), 78-96.