Frequently asked questions

What is the Braden Scale?

Braden Scale is the gold standard tool developed by Dr. Barbara Braden and Dr. Nancy Bergstrom used to identify risk of a patient/resident developing a pressure injury.
The tool reviews risk in 6 categories or sub-scales including: sensory perception, moisture, activity, mobility, nutrition, and friction/shear.

Is the Braden Scale a skin assessment tool?

A skin assessment includes the visual and tactile assessment of the skin to determine color, moisture, temperature, texture, turgor, blanching, and presence of skin lesions or wounds. The Braden Scale identifies risk of developing a pressure injury.

What is the recommended frequency for using the Braden Scale?

The evidence shows that on-going risk assessment improves the accuracy and the predictive ability of the Braden Scale. The frequency of on-going assessment varies by clinical area and the stability or condition of the patient.
In the acute care setting we recommend using the Braden Scale upon admission, with shift change, and with any change in patient condition that warrants additional assessment.
In the long-term care and nursing homes with skilled designations we recommend using the Braden Scale upon admission and weekly thereafter. In nursing home with long-term patients, the assessment should be done on admission, weekly for the first month, and monthly thereafter.
We recommend that home care nurses perform the assessment with each RN visit, as these tend to correlate to skilled need patients.

Is there a special Braden Scale for long-term care?

The Braden Scale has been tested for many settings, including long-term care. There is no special version for long-term care.

Does the Braden Scale apply to the pediatric population?

The Braden Scale has not been specifically tested in patients under the age of 18. However, the Braden QD developed by Martha Curley and associates was developed for younger children and has been tested in the pediatric ICU population.

When I look at different sites discussing the Braden Scale, some say low risk is 15-16 and others say 18. Has this number changed over the years?

Yes, the correct cut-off score is now considered to be 18 (See Bergstrom, et. al, Nursing Research, 1998).

Our flow sheet and admission form does not have space for the full Braden Scale. Can we use an abbreviated form?

Supplementary information sections should be readily available in your EMR to account for this. These can be designed as hover over information or row information adjacent to the actual flowsheet. Clinicians should be educated on how to access this information.

How do I get staff to use the Braden Scale effectively and score appropriately?

A complete educational toolkit to support appropriate scoring of the Braden Scale was developed by HD Nursing and is available as a part of your Braden License.
The tools include:

  • The Braden Scale Education Module - an interactive SCORM compliant module with embedded test to load in your LMS
  • The Braden Scale Presentation - a voice - over slide presentation on how to score the Braden Scale
  • The Braden Scale Glossary to support inter-rater reliability through use of working definitions for each subscale score.
  • The Braden Scale downtime form in the event your EMR is down, and you need to revert to paper documentation. The paper form can be used to support educational activities as well.

History of the Braden Scale

The Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk was developed during a Robert Wood Johnson project while writing an NIH proposal to study pressure ulcer risk factors. The Braden Scale was initially tested for reliability and validity with results published in Nursing Research in 1987. A larger multi-site study was conducted in a variety of settings resulting in revisions in the recommendations for the critical cutoff score and the timing of assessment. Results were published in Nursing Research in 1998 with a follow-up report in Nursing Research in 2002. Prevention Plus previously managed the intellectual property, copyrights and licenses related to the Braden Scale. Prevention Plus was founded in 1998 by Barbara Braden and Nancy Bergstrom is based on their extensive research in patient care. Health Sense Ai acquired Prevention Plus and the intellectual property, copyrights and licenses related to the Braden Scale in 2021.

Why is there a license fee for the Braden Scale and the Braden II?

License fees ensure HSAI is able to continually evaluate the ongoing performance of the Braden line of clinical tools. We use fees to support research and development of pressure injury prediction and prevention resources for clinical staff globally and support the use of these tools in underdeveloped and underserved regions and nations to ensure impoverished and marginalized communities can still benefit from our gold standard tools.

How do I license the Braden Scale Toolkit?

The Braden Scale Toolkit is only available with the purchase of the Braden Scale license. Click here to contact us to discuss licensing requirements, terms/conditions and fee.

Is there more available beyond the Braden Scale Toolkit to help my facility reduce Pressure Injuries?

For more information on a comprehensive safety program designed to prevent pressure injuries, contact HD Nursing to learn about the Braden Hester Pressure Injury Prevention Program at

How do I know if my organization has been granted a license to use the Braden Scale?

Click here to contact a Braden Scale representative who will confirm whether or not your organization has an active Braden Scale license.

To obtain a license and access the educational tools contact us at: or at

For a complete program to address pressure injury prevention please contact us to learn more about the Braden Hester Pressure Injury Prevention Program at

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Braden Scale is an Evidence-Based

Approach to Pressure Injury Prevention

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Benton, AR 72018