Braden Skin Score Subdomains Predict Mortality Among Cardiac Intensive Care Patients

Published:February 21, 2022DOI:



      The Braden Skin Score (BSS) is a bedside nursing assessment that may be a measure of frailty and predicts mortality among patients in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU). We examined the association between each of the 6 individual BSS subscores with hospital mortality in patients in the CICU. We hypothesized that BSS subscores reflecting patient frailty would have a stronger association with outcomes.


      Retrospective cohort study of unique adult patients admitted to the Mayo Clinic CICU from 2007 to 2018 with BSS documented on admission. Primary outcome was all-cause hospital mortality. Odds ratios (ORs) were determined using multivariable logistic regression.


      The 11,954 included patients had a mean age of 67.4 ± 15.2 years (37.8% women). Each individual BSS subscore was lower among patients who died in the hospital (all P < .001). The total BSS was inversely associated with in-hospital mortality across admission diagnoses and among patients with coma or mechanical ventilation; each individual subscore was inversely associated with in-hospital mortality. On multivariable regression, all subscores were inversely associated with hospital mortality after full adjustment. Shear had the strongest association (adjusted OR 0.59), followed by nutrition (adjusted OR 0.67), skin moisture (adjusted OR 0.76), mobility (adjusted OR 0.76), sensory perception (adjusted OR 0.82), and activity level (adjusted OR 0.85).


      BSS can serve as a rapid noninvasive screening tool for identifying poor outcomes in patients in the CICU. BSS subdomains that are more strongly associated with mortality appear to reflect physical frailty. Insofar as the BSS and its subscores measure frailty, a low BSS may identify frail patients.


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