Medical device-related pressure ulcers: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Debra Jackson, Ahmed M. Sarki, Ria Betteridge, Joanne Brooke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To review observational studies reporting medical device-related pressure injuries and to identify the medical devices commonly associated with pressure injuries. Design: A systematic review of primary research was undertaken, according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Data sources: A comprehensive electronic literature search of AMED, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, British Nursing Database and Google Scholar was conducted from inception to 31 st December 2018. Studies that reported the prevalence or incidence of medical device-related pressure injuries and published in English language were included in the review. Review methods: The eligibility of studies was evaluated independently by three of the four authors and audited by an independent researcher. The titles and abstracts of all studies were screened to identify studies that met the inclusion criteria. Full-text articles of the remaining studies were obtained and screened against the inclusion criteria. Risk of bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Meta-analysis was conducted using the ‘metaprop’ routine, with estimates of medical device-related pressure injuries from the included studies pooled using DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model. Meta-regression analysis was also conducted to examine between-study heterogeneity. Results: Twenty-nine studies (17 cross-sectional studies; 12 cohort studies) comprising data on 126,150 patients were eligible for inclusion in this review. The mean ages for patients were approximately 36.2 years (adults) and 5.9 years (children). The estimated pooled incidence and prevalence of medical device-related pressure injuries were 12% (95% CI 8–18) and 10% (95% CI 6–16) respectively. These results should be interpreted with caution given the high levels of heterogeneity observed between included studies. The commonly identified medical devices associated with the risk of developing medical device-related pressure injuries include respiratory devices, cervical collars, tubing devices, splints, and intravenous catheters. Conclusions: Medical device-related pressure injuries are among key indicators of patient safety and nursing quality in healthcare facilities. This systematic review and meta-analysis provide up-to-date estimates of the extent and nature of medical device-related pressure injuries, and the findings suggest that device-related pressure injuries are a public health issue of significance, especially as these injuries affect patients’ wellbeing and increase the cost of care for both patients and providers. Further research is required to inform strategies for increasing the reporting and risk assessment of medical device-related pressure injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Medical devices
  • Medical devices pressure injuries
  • Pressure injury
  • Pressure ulcer


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