The impact of healthcare assistant education on pressure ulcer prevention: a systematic review

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Journal of wound care


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of education for healthcare assistants (HCAs) on their knowledge and skills in pressure ulcer (PU) prevention and on the incidence of PUs. A secondary aim was to evaluate education methodologies used in PU prevention programmes. METHOD: Using systematic review methodology, key databases were searched with no limitations on date of publication. The search was conducted in November 2021 using the following databases: CINAHL, Embase, Scopus, MEDLINE, Cochrane Wounds Group Specialist Register and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Inclusion criteria focused on studies that employed the use of education as an intervention, delivered to HCAs in any setting. The PRISMA guidelines were followed. The methodological quality of the studies was evaluated using the Evidence-Based Librarianship (EBL) appraisal checklist. Data were analysed using narrative analysis and meta-analysis. RESULTS: The systematic search yielded an initial 449 records, of which 14 studies met the inclusion criteria. Outcome measures of HCA knowledge scores were reported in 11 (79%) studies. Outcome measures related to PU prevalence/incidence were reported in 11 (79%) studies. An increase in knowledge scores of HCAs post-educational intervention was reported in five (38%) studies. A significant reduction in PU prevalence/incidence rates post-educational intervention was reported in nine (64%) studies. CONCLUSION: This systematic review affirms the benefits of education of HCAs on their knowledge and skills of PU prevention, and on PU incidence. The results must be treated with caution due to quality appraisal issues of included studies.

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