Pressure ulcer research funding in America: creation and analysis of an on-line database.
To systematically collect information on active research grants to characterize pressure ulcer research funding in the United States and to identify potential targets for future research and funding initiatives. DESIGN A descriptive study. The investigators identified 32 grants, representing 16,444,117 US dollars in research funding. The majority of this funding came from federal sources, including the National Institutes of Health (90%), the Department of Veterans Affairs (7%), the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (2%), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (1%). One quarter of pressure ulcer research grants related to quality improvement. Additional topic areas included risk factors or risk assessment tools (19%), adjunctive therapy (16%), mobilization (13%), and pressure management in foot care for patients with diabetes mellitus (9%). Further grants were in the areas of incidence, assessing tissue damage or healing, support surfaces, dressings and topical agents, nutrition, economic evaluation, and pain. The investment in pressure ulcer research is minute compared with pressure ulcer treatment expenditures. Policy makers are urged to encourage increased federal and foundation funding for research concerning pressure ulcers. Researchers are also encouraged to develop well-designed proposals to obtain available research funding. Additional research is needed in the areas of pressure ulcer incidence and prevalence, support surface design and use, pain, operative treatment, economic impact, and education strategies for caregivers and patients.