Braden Score Calculator

Created by Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD candidate and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Apr 10, 2022

The Braden score calculator helps to identify patients at risk of pressure ulcers. The Braden scale for predicting pressure ulcer risk consists of six sub-scales related to factors associated with pressure ulcer development, which include: sensory perception, moisture, activity, mobility, nutrition, and friction/shear.

Read the article below to find out how to calculate the Braden score, and how to interpret its results. You might also be interested in our other calculators, like the SAPS II score calculator and the SOFA score calculator. Check them out!

Pressure ulcer

A pressure ulcer (also known as a bedsore) is an injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue that usually occur over a bony prominence. It often results from prolonged pressure on the area, or pressure in combination with shear or friction.

There are over a hundred risk factors for pressure ulcers, and they include:

Braden Scale

The Braden scale for predicting pressure ulcer risk was created in 1987 by a group of researchers to support the early identification of patients at risk for forming pressure sores. So far, it has been used in different care settings and among multiple patient populations.

The scale consists of six sub-scales related to factors associated with a pressure ulcer. They include:

  • Sensory perception;
  • Moisture;
  • Activity;
  • Mobility;
  • Nutrition; and
  • Friction/shear.

Each sub-scale includes mutually exclusive statements to choose from, with only one appropriate answer per statement. All of the sub-scales have four possible answers, except for the friction/shear sub-point, which has three statements.

How to calculate Braden score?

As we mentioned above, the Braden scale has six different sub-scales with four possible answers (with one exception - the friction/shear sub-scale has three). Therefore, the first five sub-scales are scored from 1 to 4 points, and the friction/shear sub-point is scored from 1 to 3. The lower the value, the higher the risk of developing pressure ulcers.

We then add the scores from the six sub-scales together to provide an overall risk score. The highest possible score of 23 indicates the lowest risk of developing pressure ulcers (risk group: average), and the lowest attainable score is 6, which indicates the highest risk.

Our calculator assigns each score to a risk group, based on the following values:

Risk group Braden score
Average 18 and higher
Mild 16-17
Moderate 13-15
High 12 and less

Important!: Those cut-off points have been suggested based on the results of the Bergstrom N, Braden B. A Prospective Study of Pressure Sore Risk Among Institutionalized Elderly. J Am Geriatr Soc study. Note, that the cut-off score for determining risk groups is not prescribed by the Braden scale developers. Each institution is encouraged to conduct their own studies to determine the optimal cut-off points.

How to use the Braden score calculator?

We designed the Braden score calculator in a way that leads you through all the required steps one by one. How to use it? Its easy:

  1. Go through each of the six Braden score calculator sub-scales.
  2. For each sub-scale, you should choose the most appropriate answer from the drop-down list. For each answer, we show a more detailed description below, so you can find the most accurate classification of the patient's risk level.
  3. Read the Results section at the bottom of the calculator to see the overall score, and which risk group the patient is assigned to.
Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Sensory perception
No impairment
Patient responds to verbal commands and is able to feel and express pain or discomfort.
Rarely moist
Skin usually dry, linen only requires changing at routine intervals.
Walks frequently
Patient walks outside the room at least twice a day; and inside the room at least once every 2 hrs during waking hours.
No limitation
Patient makes major and frequent changes in position without assistance.
Patient eats most of every meal; never refuses a meal; usually eats 4 or more servings of meat and dairy products; occasionally eats between meals; does not require supplementation.
No apparent problem
Patient moves in bed or chair independently; has sufficient muscle strength to lift up completely during move; maintains good position in bed or chair.
Braden score
Risk group: AVERAGE
❗ The cut-off score for determining the risk groups is not prescribed by the Braden scale developers. Each institution is encouraged to conduct their own studies to determine the optimal cut-off points. The above interpretation is based on the following study.
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