Nurses’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices regarding Pressure Ulcer Prevention in the Umgungundlovu District, South Africa


  • Thembelihle Patricia Dlungwane University of KwaZulu-Natal



attitude, knowledge, nurse, practice, pressure ulcer prevention


The prevention of pressure ulcers remains a serious problem for nurses. The effects of pressure ulcers include high treatment costs, litigation matters, and increased workloads on nursing staff. Pressure ulcers affect patients’ emotional, physical and social well-being. The pain caused by pressure ulcers prolongs rehabilitation and hospital stays and could eventually lead to disability and death. The purpose of the study, conducted in the Umgungundlovu District in South Africa, was to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of nurses regarding the prevention of pressure ulcers. A descriptive cross-sectional study with an analytical component was implemented. The data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Frequency distribution tables, the t-test and ANOVA were used in the analysis of the data. A p-value of less than 0.05 was deemed statistically significant. The mean knowledge of nurses (N = 223) was 69.1 per cent, which was low. There was a statistically significant difference in knowledge by rank (p = 0.001), years of experience (p = 0.002), previous knowledge of pressure ulcers (p = 0.001), and hospital ward (p > 0.001). There was a significant difference in knowledge between the nursing assistants and the registered nurses (p = 0.004). A large proportion of nurses (58%) had a positive attitude towards pressure ulcer prevention. The average practice score was 56.2 per cent. The nurses’ knowledge and practices of the prevention of pressure ulcers are unsatisfactory, although their attitudes are positive. Knowledge improvement is necessary to influence attitudes and practices. A multi-faceted approach is required to empower the nurses.


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How to Cite

Dlungwane, Thembelihle Patricia. 2020. “Nurses’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Regarding Pressure Ulcer Prevention in the Umgungundlovu District, South Africa”. Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery 22 (2):17 pages.



Received 2020-04-24
Accepted 2020-07-03
Published 2020-11-12