Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Dorothy Brooten

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

JoAnne M. Youngblut

Third Advisor's Name

Marcia Magnus

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ellen Brown

Date of Defense



The elderly are at the highest risk of developing pressure ulcers that result in prolonged hospitalization, high health care costs, increased mortality, and decreased quality of life. The burden of pressure ulcers will intensify because of a rapidly increasing elderly population in the United States (US). Poor nutrition is a major predictor of pressure ulcer formation. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary nutritional protocol on: 1) pressure ulcer wound healing 2) length of hospital stays, and 3) charges for pressure ulcer management. Using a pre-intervention/post intervention quasi-experimental design the study sample was composed of 100 patients 60 years or older, admitted with or acquiring a pressure ulcer. A pre-intervention group (n= 50) received routine pressure ulcer care (standard diet, dressing changes, and equipment). A post-intervention group received routine care plus an interdisciplinary nutrition intervention (physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, added protein and calories to the diet). Research questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics, frequencies, Chi-Square Tests, and T-tests. Findings indicated that the comprehensive, interdisciplinary nutritional protocol had a significant effect on the rate of wound healing in Week3 and Week4, total hospital length of stay (pre-intervention M= 43.2 days, SD=31.70 versus M=31.77, SD=12.02 post-intervention), and pressure ulcer length of stay (pre-intervention 25.28 days, SD5.60 versus 18.40 days, SD 5.27 post-intervention). Although there was no significant difference in total charges for the pre-intervention group ($727,245.00) compared to the post-intervention group ($702,065.00), charges for speech (m=$5885.12, SD=$332.55), pre albumin (m=$808.52,SD= $332.55), and albumin($278 .88, SD=55.00) were higher in the pre-intervention group and charges for PT ($5721.26, SD$3655.24) and OT($2544 .64, SD=1712.863) were higher in the post-intervention group. Study findings indicate that this comprehensive nutritional intervention was effective in improving pressure ulcer wound healing, decreasing both hospital length of stay for treatment of pressure ulcer and total hospital length of stay while showing no significant additional charges for treatment of pressure ulcers.



Included in

Nursing Commons



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