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Predictive validity of Waterlow Scale for pressure ulcer development risk in hospitalized patients

, : Predictive validity of Waterlow Scale for pressure ulcer development risk in hospitalized patients. Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing 36(6): 640-646

We sought to evaluate the predictive validity of the Waterlow Scale in hospitalized patients. The study was conducted at a general private hospital with 220 beds and a mean time of hospitalization of 7.4 days and a mean occupation rate of approximately 80%. Adult patients with a Braden Scale score of 18 or less and a Waterlow Scale score of 16 or more were studied. The sample consisted of 98 patients with a mean age of 71.1 + or - 15.5 years. Skin assessment and scoring by using the Waterlow and Braden scales were completed on alternate days. Patients were examined at least 3 times to be considered for analysis. The data were submitted to sensitivity and specificity analysis by using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and positive (+LR) and negative (-LR) likelihood ratios. The cutoff scores were 17, 20, and 20 in the first, second, and third assessment, respectively. Sensitivity was 71.4%, 85.7%, and 85.7% and specificity was 67.0%, 40.7%, and 32.9%, respectively. Analysis of the area under the ROC curve revealed good accuracy (0.64, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.35-0.93) only for the cutoff score 17 in the first assessment. The results also showed probabilities of 14%, 10%, and 9% for the development of pressure ulcer when the test results were positive (+LR) and of 3% (-LR) when the test results were negative for the cutoff scores in the first, second, and third assessment, respectively. The Waterlow Scale achieved good predictive validity in predicting pressure ulcer in hospitalized patients when a cutoff score of 17 was used in the first assessment.


PMID: 19920745

DOI: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3181bd86c9

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