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Relationship of Social Demographics, Incidence of Pressure Ulcer Sores in Postacute Care

January 09, 2020

Researchers recently examined the relationship between social demographics and incidence or worsening of pressure ulcer sores among patients in postacute care settings. According to the study findings, which were published online in Advances in Skin & Wound Care, evidence suggests disparities in the incidence of new or worsened pressure ulcers among older adults in 3 different postacute care settings. According to study authors, publicly available quality data could be used to identify and address these issues.  

In order to explore the incidence of new or worsening pressure ulcers classified by self-reported patient race and sex, Julie Seibert, PhD, MPH, senior research public health analyst, RIT International, Research Triangle Park, and colleagues, used logistic regression modeling. The research team examined the relative risk for developing new or worsened pressure ulcers by sociodemographic status. Further, they used multiple regression modeling in order to estimate the relative contribution of facility-level factors on rates of new or worsened pressure ulcers.  

Dr Seibert focused on Medicare Part A residents and patients with complete stays in postacute care during 2015. The following settings were included in the study: long-term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and skilled nursing facilities. Finally, the researchers used the National Quality Forum-endorsed pressure ulcer quality measure to calculate the incidence of new or worsened pressure ulcers.  

“The sample included 1,566,847 resident stays in 14,822 skilled nursing facilities, 478,292 patient stays in 1132 inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and 121,834 patient stays in 397 long-term care hospitals,” Dr Seibert and colleagues explained.  

The study authors identified significant differences in new or worsened pressure ulcer incidence rates based on sociodemographic factors across all 3 care settings, according to the study findings.

“Black or African-American race, male sex, and advanced age were significant predictors of new or worsened ulcers, although controlling for health conditions reduced the racial disparity,” they noted.   

According to the research team, they also identified differences among facilitates based on the following: 

  • Ownership type;
  • Location (urban versus rural); and
  • Sociodemographic makeup of facilities residents/patients.

There is evidence of disparities in the incidence of new or worsened pressure ulcers across [postacute care] settings, suggesting publicly available quality data may be used to identify and ameliorate these problems,” the study authors concluded. 

Julie Gould 


Seibert J, Barch D, Bernacet A, et al. Examining Social Risk Factors in a Pressure Ulcer Quality Measure for Three Post-Acute Care Settings [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jan 7]. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2020;10.1097/01.ASW.0000651456.30210.8a. doi:10.1097/01.ASW.0000651456.30210.8a

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