Which assessment tools are used to assess risk for pressure injuries (pressure ulcers)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Christian N Kirman, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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A systematic assessment of pressure injury risk can be accomplished by using a assessment tool such as the Braden scale or the Norton scale (see Table 3 below). No information is currently available to suggest that adaptations of these risk assessment tools or the assessment of any single risk factor or a combination of risk factors predicts risk as well as the overall scores obtained with these tools. [172, 173]

Table 3. Norton and Braden Scales for Assessing Pressure Ulcer Risk (Open Table in a new window)

Area of Comparison

Norton Scale

Braden Scale

Assessment criteria

Physical condition; mental condition; activity; mobility; incontinence (score ≥12 is at risk)

Activity; mobility; sensory perception; moisture; nutrition; friction; shear


Tested on elderly persons in hospital settings

Evaluated in diverse sites (eg, medical-surgical, intensive care units, nursing homes)


Tested extensively

Tested extensively


Not available

Good interrater reliability

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