Risk Factors for Development of New or Worsened Pressure Ulcers Among Patients in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities in the United States: Data From the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation


Health Promotion

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PM and R

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© 2015 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Background: Documentation of a new or worsened pressure ulcer is a new, required quality indicator for all inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) in the United States; however, there is little research regarding risk factors for pressure ulcers among patients seen in IRFs. Objective: To examine the risk factors for development of a new or worsened pressure ulcer among patients seen in IRFs. Design: A retrospective cohort study. Setting: IRFs in the United States. Participants: IRF patients more than 18 years of age, with documented new or worsened pressure ulcer during their rehabilitation stay (n = 2766) and IRF patients with no new or worsened pressure ulcer documented from admission to discharge (n = 190,996) discharged October 2008 to September 2011, included in the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation database. Methods: Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate risk factors for the development of a new or worsened pressure ulcer utilizing data captured in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) payment document. Examined were demographic variables, including age and gender, medical variables, including impairment type and presence of comorbidities, and functional status, as measured through the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) instrument. Main Outcome Measures: Development of a new or worsened pressure ulcer in patients during the rehabilitation stay compared to patients with no documented pressure ulcer or no worsened ulcer. Results: Admission FIM total was strongly associated with development of a new or worsened pressure ulcer, P <.001 in analyses of all patients and for each of the 3 impairment-specific groups with the highest rate of ulcer development among spinal cord injury, orthopedic, and amputation cases. CMS comorbidity tier was also significantly associated with ulcers in all models. Other variables that entered one or more models included increased age, male gender, and use of a wheelchair. Conclusions: Admission FIM total and CMS comorbidity tier may be useful in the identification of patients at risk for development of new or worsened pressure ulcers in IRFs. Identification of pressure ulcer risk factors has important implications for individual plan-of-care decisions as well as for resource provisions during the rehabilitation stay.