Pressure Ulcer Test Trials: How Your Facility Can Get Involved Protection Status
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By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Part 3 in a series on Pressure Ulcer Knowledge
For Part 1, Click here
For Part 2, Click here

Last time I wrote about my research results of nurses’ pressure ulcer knowledge. The Pieper Pressure Ulcer Knowledge Test has been widely used to examine nurses, medical residents and CNA's knowledge of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment. The test consisted of 47 questions answered as true, false, don't know. Sub-scores included in the scale were prevention (33 questions), staging (7 questions) and wounds (7 questions). Mean scores for nurses have shown to be fairly consistent across settings over time, remaining at approximately a 78% level.

Nurses scored highest on the wound subscale followed by staging and lowest on the prevention subscale . When medical residents took the test their mean score was 69%, and using a separate wound picture test had the most difficulty identifying suspected Deep Tissue Injury (sDTI) and Unstageable ulcers. CNA scores have been found to range between 63% and 68% but sample sizes have been small.

However, the Pieper knowledge test was developed in 1997 and content had not been updated. Barbara Pieper and I decided it was time and revised the test. We added questions and put them in evidence tables. As with the original test, questions covered prevention, staging and wounds. Initially, we came up with 115 items. However after initial testing we were able to refine the test to 72 items (20 prevention, 18 staging and 34 wounds). The new test, called the Pieper-Zulkowski Pressure Ulcer Knowledge Test (PZKT), can be used to look at each area separately or taken in its entirety. However, we would like more trials of the test. If your facility may be interested, let me know and I can give permission for test use ( Let's continue to track nurses' knowledge and improve wound education and subsequent care.

About The Author
Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS is an Associate Professor with Montana State University-Bozeman, teaches an online wound course for Excelsior College, and is a consultant for Mountain Pacific Quality Improvement Organization. She has served as a Research Consultant with Billings Clinic Center on Aging, and was the Associate Director for Yale University’s Program for the Advancement of Chronic Wound Care.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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