Pressure ulcers in community-resident persons with spinal cord injury: Prevalence and risk factors

M. J. Fuhrer, S. L. Garber, D. H. Rintala, Rebecca R. Clearman, K. A. Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


The prevalence and correlates of pressure ulcers in terms of their number, severity, and anatomical location were studied in a community-based sample of 100 men and 40 women with spinal cord injury. Thirty-three percent (n = 46) presented with one or more ulcers of at least one stage I severity when visually examined. Twenty-one individuals had more than one ulcer, the maximum number of ulcers being seven. Of 87 ulcers for which severity ratings were available, 30 (34.5%) were stage I, 33 (37.9%) were stage II, and 24 (27.6%) were either stage III or IV. Individuals with an ulcer exhibited more paralysis and were more dependent on others in activities of daily living. A greater proportion of blacks had more severe ulcers (stages III and IV) than their white counterparts. Persons with more severe ulcers incurred their injury later in life, and had significantly lower mean scores on the Occupation and Mobility dimensions of the Craig Handicap Assessment and Reporting Technique. The findings suggest that factors governing initial development of a pressure ulcer differ in part from those responsible for an ulcer progressing in severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1177
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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