Moore Z ; Cowman S ; Conroy RM
Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. firstname.lastname@example.org
UNLABELLED: BACKGROUNDL: Pressure ulcers are common, costly and impact negatively on individuals. Pressure is the prime cause, and immobility is the factor that exposes individuals to pressure. International guidelines advocate repositioning; however, there is confusion surrounding the best method and frequency required.
DESIGN: A pragmatic, multi-centre, open label, prospective, cluster-randomised controlled trial was conducted to compare the incidence of pressure ulcers among older persons nursed using two different repositioning regimens.
METHOD: Ethical approval was received. Study sites (n=12) were allocated to study arm using cluster randomisation. The experimental group (n=99) were repositioned three hourly at night, using the 30° tilt; the control group (n=114) received routine prevention (six-hourly repositioning, using 90° lateral rotation). Data analysis was by intention to treat; follow-up was for four weeks.
RESULTS: All participants (n=213) were Irish and white, among them 77% were women and 65% aged 80 years or older. Three patients (3%) in the experimental group and 13 patients (11%) in the control group developed a pressure ulcer (p=0·035; 95% CI 0·031-0·038; ICC=0·001). All pressure ulcers were grade 1 (44%) or grade 2 (56%). Mobility and activity were the highest predictors of pressure ulcer development (?=-0·246, 95% CI=-0·319 to -0·066; p=0·003); (?=0·227, 95% CI=0·041-0·246; p = 0·006).
CONCLUSION: Repositioning older persons at risk of pressure ulcers every three hours at night, using the 30° tilt, reduces the incidence of pressure ulcers compared with usual care. The study supports the recommendations of the 2009 international pressure ulcer prevention guidelines.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: An effective method of pressure ulcer prevention has been identified; in the light of the problem of pressures ulcers, current prevention strategies should be reviewed. It is important to implement appropriate prevention strategies, of which repositioning is one.