OBJECTIVE: This study reviews the validity and reliability of DESIGN, a tool for classifying pressure ulcer severity and monitoring progression towards healing. Only the tool's healing progression component was evaluated. METHOD: Inter-rater reliability was evaluated by calculating the agreement rate of scores, based on eight photos of pressure ulcers and six actual ulcers, made by a panel of seven nurses. Validity was assessed, using the same eight photos, by comparing DESIGN scores with those made using the validated Pressure Sore Status Tool (PSST). RESULTS: The DESIGN inter-rater reliability results showed a high correlation of r = 0.98 for the photos and r = 0.91 for the real-life patients with pressure ulcers, respectively, for all seven raters based on total scores. For validity, a correlation greater than 0.91 was found between the DESIGN and PSST scores. CONCLUSION: Based on our results, DESIGN was found to have both high inter-rater reliability and high validity among the seven nurses who quantitatively evaluated the wound-healing progress of the pressure ulcers in this study.
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