There are few clinical tools with both predictive validity for pressure ulcer healing and availability in broad populations. We evaluated whether the total scores from DESIGN-R tool could predict pressure ulcer healing. We followed 3,196 patients with pressure ulcers from two multicenter cohort studies until wound healing, patient death, or discharge. Wound severity was evaluated by DESIGN-R tool from 0 (healed) to 66 (greatest severity). In the multivariate Cox proportional hazard model, higher DESIGN-R total scores at baseline were associated with lower healing rates (hazard ratio 0.90, 95% confidence interval 0.89-0.92), independent of the patient's characteristics, setting types, and wound depth or location. DESIGN-R had discriminative value for wound healing up to 90 days; the area under the receiver-operating characteristics curve from univariate analysis was 0.81 for healing within 30 days and 0.74 for healing within 30-90 days. The cutoff points were 9 for healing within 30 days and 18 within 30-90 days (positive and negative predictive value 78.8 and 74.1%; 63.9 and 81.1%, respectively). These points were validated for both superficial and deep ulcers. DESIGN-R can be a useful tool to predict pressure ulcer healing for a wide range of patient populations, settings, and wound locations.
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