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J Clin Nurs. 2011 Sep;20(17-18):2633-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03736.x. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

A randomised controlled clinical trial of repositioning, using the 30° tilt, for the prevention of pressure ulcers.

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1
Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. zmoore@rcsi.ie

Abstract

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 (β=-0·246, 95% CI=-0·319 to -0·066; p=0·003); (β=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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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