Economic cost of treating pressure ulcers: a theoretical approach

Ana Júlia Silva*, Sandra Martins Pereira, Alexandre Rodrigues, Ana Paula Rocha, Jesuína Varela, Luís Miguel Gomes, Norberto Messias, Rosa Carvalhal, Rui Luís, Luís Filipe Pereira Mendes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The present study consisted of a theoretical approach to the problem posed by the economic costs associated with pressure ulcers (PUs). The initial aim was to assess the target problem from a conceptual perspective and then to report the results of prevalence studies that formed the basis for investigations of the disease's economic impact. The purpose of the present article is to discuss the economic costs associated with PUs from both the global point of view (appraising their financial repercussion) and the individual point of view (addressing the intangible costs). Regarding the economic impact of the costs associated with PUs, the total cost of treatment per healthcare setting was estimated relative to the Autonomous Community of Azores. The total cost of all the PU categories was EUR 7,086,415 in the homecare setting, EUR 1,723,509 in the hospital setting, and EUR 1,002,562 in older people's homes. Therefore, the estimated total treatment cost of all the PU categories was approximately EUR 9,812,486 in Azores. However, the emotional impact of this disease imposes high costs on patients and their relatives as a function of the resultant suffering. Indeed, PUs impose high costs not only related to the treatment but also related to the intangible costs of the suffering caused to patients and their caregivers.
Translated title of the contributionCusto econômico do tratamento das úlceras por pressão: uma abordagem teórica
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-972
Number of pages6
JournalRevista da Escola de Enfermagem
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost and cost analysis
  • Nursing care
  • Pressure ulcer


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