Yap’s Nearly $3 Million NINR Award Could Improve Pressure Ulcer Cases in Nursing Homes

Tracey Yap, PhD, RN, CNE, WCC, FAAN, associate professor for Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) and senior fellow in the Duke University Center for Aging and Human Development, received a research grant of nearly $3 million from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research for her study titled “Preventing pressure ulcers with repositioning frequency and precipitating factors.” The study will be funded for almost five years, which began July 1, 2016, and will end March 31, 2021.

Yap’s research will address the high rates of pressure ulcers (PrUs) in residents in U.S. nursing homes. This study will advance nursing knowledge about the effects of resident repositioning on high-density foam mattresses and provide new knowledge about the residents’ responses to a repositioning schedule when risk level and medical severity change.

PrUs, an intolerable and painful condition, occur most commonly in older adults, with at least one of every nine U.S. nursing home residents experiencing a PrU. The cost of treating PrUs is estimated to range from $21,000 to $152,000 per PrU.

“PrUs are challenging to address given the variations in nursing home size, staffing and diversity, but creation of cost effective solutions is imperative since one in every five adults will be older than 65 years by 2030, and PrUs could increase exponentially,” said Yap.

This study will investigate the interactive effects of repositioning frequency, PrU risk level, changes in risk level and medical severity on PrU development. The clinical utility and relevance achieved with real-world testing and staff delivery will help nursing homes with high PrUs add to the clarity of preventive nursing practices.

“Effective prevention can reduce PrU incidence and avoid treatment costs while improving resident satisfaction, safety and quality of life,” said Yap.

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