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The Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk was developed to foster early identification of patients at risk for forming pressure sores. The scale is composed of six subscales that reflect sensory perception, skin moisture, activity, mobility, friction and shear, and nutritional status. Content and construct validity were established by expert opinion and empirical testing. Three studies of reliability are reported here, using raters who varied in level of educational preparation and geographic region. Two prospective studies of predictive validity were completed to determine the scale's sensitivity and specificity. Reliability ranged from r = .83 to r = .94 for nurses' aides and licensed practical nurses; when used by registered nurses, the reliability increased to r = .99. Predictive validity was calculated for each cut-off point of the scale. Using a cutoff point of 16, sensitivity was 100% in both studies. Specificity ranged from 64% to 90%. This instrument has highly satisfactory reliability when used by RNs, and greater sensitivity and specificity than instruments previously reported.

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