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J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 1995 Nov;22(6):267-70.

Selection of a standard hospital mattress: data-based decision making.


By means of a scientific method, standard hospital mattresses were evaluated for pressure-relieving properties and patient comfort. Vendors' written materials and product demonstrations led to the initial selection of seven mattresses. On the basis of findings from a survey of staff nurses and environmental services and pressure readings obtained with three healthy volunteers, three mattresses were selected for intensive evaluation. Eighteen mattresses (six of each type) were placed in six clinical care units; at 2-week intervals, interface pressure readings (occipital, sacral, and heel) were performed on patients by means of a computerized measurement system. Caregiver and patient questionnaires (n = 100) were analyzed for clinical significance and patients' responses. We conclude that there are no significant differences among the three mattresses tested in pressure-reducing capabilities, nursing functions, or patient comfort.

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