Pain impact

Pressure ulcers are painful wounds which can severely affect patient’s quality of life. Pain levels in pressure ulcers have often been unrecognised however in recent surveys the following statistics on patient pain have been reported:

  • Up to 87.5% patients reporting pain at wound dressing change2
  • PU Pain prevalence reported 16.3% prevalence3


The recently published NPUAP/EPUAP guidelines comment that this pain can be both ’quantified’ and ’differentiated’ from other pain episodes and, importantly, occurs both during procedures and at rest. Additionally, the guidelines recommend that all patients with pressure ulcers should be assessed for pain using a validated scale and preventative/ management measures put in place.

Example of a pain assessment tool


More recently the use of pain or altered sensation as a risk factor has also been identified, although further research is required.