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Nurs Res. 1979 Jan-Feb;28(1):16-9.

Topical application of insulin in decubitus ulcers.


When a pilot study provided evidence that insulin may increase the rate of healing of decubitus ulcers, this study attempted to answer the question: Is topical insulin therapy an effective treatment regimen for decubitus ulcers? The experimental study utilized a two-group, before-after design. Twenty-nine geriatric subjects were randomly assigned to either the experimental or the control group. The single independent variable was the topical application of ten units of regular insulin (U.S.P.) twice daily. The dependent variable was the surface area of the decubitus ulcer measured in square millimeters. Rate of healing was defined as decrease in surface area over time. Data were also gathered on extraneous variables believed to influence the healing process. The F test was used to test the research hypothesis that experimental subjects would have an increased rate of healing. When comparison of group means on day seven and day 15 revealed no significant differences, the research hypothesis was rejected. Pearson product moment correlation procedures were utilized to determine if there were differences between extraneous variables and the rate of healing. Females healed significantly (p less than .05) more slowly than males. Also, there was a direct correlation between the number of days of treatment and the rate of healing.

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