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J Tissue Viability. 1998 Jul;8(3):9-13.

A study of the performance of a pressure reducing foam mattress after three years of use.

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Aberdeen Royal Hospitals Trust.


This paper details the follow up clinical evaluation of a pressure reducing foam mattress (PRFM) three years after a randomised controlled trial. The PRFMs involved in the 1993 randomised controlled trial were used constantly for three years and recalled in 1996. In the original trial the control group had consisted of 18 standard NHS mattresses. In 1996 none of these mattresses were still in use which made it impossible to replicate the 1993 randomised controlled trial. Instead a clinical evaluation using the 1993 methods was carried out using the PRFMs only. Recruitment to the evaluation proved difficult because changes in clinical practice between the two studies had resulted in shorter lengths of stay in hospital for the target population. Comparison of the two outcome measures namely pressure sore incidence and the subjects' perception of comfort showed no statistically significant change between 1993 and 1996. With the exception of two damaged mattress covers all of the original foam components and covers remained in working order in 1996. During the time between the two studies, a pressure sore prevention programme was implemented within the research area. This programme has resulted in a year by year drop in the Directorate incidence rate. It is therefore not possible to attribute the low pressure sore incidence rate to the PRFMs alone. The results obtained suggest that the PRFMs appear to be providing a similar level of performance after three years of use.

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