Assessment of wound healing: validity, reliability and sensitivity of available instruments
Miller, Michelle Deanne
Spark, J Ian
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Objectives: If wound assessment instruments are to be used in the periodic assessment of wound healing, they must prove to be valid, reliable and sensitive measures of wound healing. Thus, this systematic literature review aims to examine available wound healing instruments in terms of these parameters. Method: Only instruments able to measure changes in wound healing were included in this review and not those used to predict healing, classify wounds, or measure wound characteristics per se. All wound types were suitable for inclusion. Results: A total of 20 articles were found, evaluating the validity of 10 instruments used to monitor wound healing. No instrument satisfied all criteria required for instrument validation. Instruments used to assess pressure ulcers, notably the Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH) and Pressure Sore Status Tool (PSST), had been validated to the greatest extent, whilst those describing healing in leg ulcers and general or surgical wounds tended to lack comprehensive and quality evaluation. Conclusion: This review identified substantial gaps in the literature with regard to validation of existing wound healing instruments. Future studies are needed to comprehensively validate these instruments.