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Knox Dorothy M. EdD
Advances in Wound Care: June 1999
Core Body Temperature, Skin Temperature, and Interface Pressure: PDF Only



To ascertain the effects of 1-, 1½-, and 2-hour turning intervals on nursing home residents' skin over the sacrum and trochanters. Hypotheses: (1) the higher the core body temperature, the higher the skin surface temperature; (2) the 2-hour turning interval would have significantly higher skin surface temperature; (3) there would be no relationship between skin surface temperature and interface pressure; and (4) the sacrum would have the lowest skin surface temperature.


Modified Latin-square.


For-profit nursing home.


Convenience sample of 26 residents who scored < 3 on the Short Portable Mini-Mental Status Questionnaire and did not have (1) open wounds; (2) albumin levels < 3.3mg/dL; (3) severe arthritis; (4) cortisone, anticoagulation, insulin therapy or 3 medications for hypertension; and/or (5) were totally bedridden.


First Temp measured core temperature; a disposable thermistor temperature probe, skin temperature; and a digital interface pressure evaluator, the interface pressure.


Negative correlation (r = -.33, P = .003) occurred between core body temperature and skin surface temperature. Skin surface temperature rose at the end of the 2-hour turning interval but was not significant (F = (2,68) = .73, P = .49). Weak negative relationship (r = -12, P = .29) occurred between skin surface temperature and interface pressure, and sacral skin surface temperature was significantly lower for the left trochanter only (F = (8,68) = 7.05, P = .002).


Although hypotheses were not supported, more research is needed to understand how time in position and multiple chronic illnesses interact to affect skin pressure tolerance.

Dorothy M. Knox, EdD, Principal Investigator, is an Associate Professor at the University of Southwestern Louisiana College of Nursing, Lafayette, LA. This research was supported by a grant from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. The author would like to acknowledge the following for their assistance in the data gathering process: Belinda Poor, RN, MSN, and Susan Randol, RN, MSN, nursing faculty at University of Southwestern Louisiana; and Lori Guillory and Terri Robinson, senior baccalaureate nursing students at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Submitted March 12, 1996; accepted in revised form July 2,

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.