Care Blog

Assess pressure ulcers with PURPOSE-T

Since PURPOSE-T (Pressure Ulcer Risk Primary or Secondary Evaluation Tool) was first introduced, more and more nursing staff within the hospital and community setting are adopting the evidence-based pressure ulcer risk assessment. A new version 2 of the PURPOSE-T tool has recently been introduced to support in finding a more reliable and efficient way of undergoing assessments.

Using robust research, PURPOSE-T is an evidence-based assessment tool that supports nurse decision making in relation to pressure injury and prevention. PURPOSE-T identifies adults who at risk of developing a pressure ulcer, and those with existing and previous pressure ulcers that require secondary prevention and treatment.

The tool was developed as part of a research programme for pressure ulcers funded by the National Institute for Health Research and is designed using the latest research evidence and expert nursing opinion.

The PURPOSE-T assessment tool works by using colours to indicate the most important risk factors and uses a three-step assessment process:

Step 1 – Screening: This first section is designed to quickly screen those who are and are not at risk. This step captures the assessment of the patient’s mobility and skin status and encourages nurses to use their clinical judgement to highlight any additional risk factors, which significantly impact the patient.

Step 2 – Full Assessment: This second step incorporates a multiple evidence-informed items:

  • Analysis of independent movement
  • Sensory perception and response
  • Moisture
  • Perfusion
  • Nutrition
  • Medical Device
  • Diabetes
  • Current Detailed Skin Assessment
  • Previous PU History

Step 3 – Assessment Decision: The final step determines the assessment decision based on the previous steps and uses colours to categorise the decision:

Red: Pressure ulcer Category 1 or above or scarring from previous pressure ulcers

Orange: No pressure ulcer but at risk

Green: No pressure ulcer not currently at risk

PURPOSE-T is a solution to complex assessment for pressure care, built on real world evidence and is designed to be used by health care professionals only.

Copyright of the PURPOSE-T (Pressure Ulcer Risk Primary Or Secondary Evaluation Tool) and the associated user manual will remain with the CTRU, University of Leeds and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. PURPOSE-T cannot be amended in any way. For example, the instructions and items within PURPOSE T must be used as they appear in the tool (the indication of copyright should remain on any copies.


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