Clinical use of interface pressure to predict pressure ulcer development: A systematic review

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Pressure ulcers are a large problem in subjects who use a wheelchair for their mobility. These ulcers originate beneath the bony prominences of the pelvis and progress outward as a consequence of prolonged pressure. Interface pressure is used clinically to predict and prevent pressure ulcers. However, the relation between interface pressure and the development of pressure ulcers is not clear. A systematic review was performed to address the research question of whether interface pressure can be used to predict the development of pressure ulcers or to determine the prognosis of an ulcer once developed. Seven studies were identified that measured interface pressure and used the development or healing of pressure ulcers as an outcome measure. There appears to be a weak qualitative relation between interface pressure and the development of pressure ulcers. However, no conclusive clinical threshold for the interface pressure can be given. This, combined with the influence of individual characteristics, the low internal validity of interface pressure measurement for the prediction of pressure ulcers, and an incongruent relation between pressure magnitude and duration, results in the fact that no quantification of the predictive or prognostic value of interface pressure can be given.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalAssistive technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-77026
  • METIS-260337

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