OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to: (1) determine the clinical effectiveness of a low-air-loss surface, VersaCare P500, in the prevention of pressure ulcers in surgical patients; (2) determine differences in the adjusted Braden scores between those using VersaCare and VersaCare P500 mattress surfaces; and (3) explore the demographic and therapeutic factors associated with the risk of skin breakdown as measured by Braden score.
DESIGN: An open label quasi-experimental clinical trial was conducted.
SETTING: A 540-bed acute care hospital.
PATIENTS: A sample of 127 surgical patients admitted for elective orthopedic or neurologic surgery participated in the study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Decreased pressure ulcers.
RESULTS: The sample was composed of 51 (51.5%) Hispanics, 38 (38.4%) Blacks, and 10 (10.1%) Whites. Both groups were not different in their demographic and therapeutic characteristics except with regard to their total number of bed-confinement days (t = −2.225; P = .028). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that only Black race (β = −.225; P = .03), days of bed confinement (β = −.257; P = .016), and bed type (β = .257; P = .013) were independently associated with skin integrity.
CONCLUSION: The authors' findings suggest that the use of mircroclimate performance mattresses is associated with higher Braden scores, indicating a possible benefit with regard to protecting skin integrity and decreasing the risk of skin breakdown. Blacks were more likely to have lower Braden scores and "days of bed confinement" were negatively associated with the Braden score.