Background and purpose.
There is little evidence available on the use of waterproof dressings in aquatic therapy settings. The purpose of this online survey was to review current practice of waterproof dressing use in aquatic therapy settings to describe prevalence, treatment procedures, and outcomes to help guide future research.
A 10-question online survey using Survey Monkey was designed to gauge the prevalence and related circumstances involved with waterproof dressing use in aquatic therapy practice. The survey was sent to aquatic therapy practitioners, and data were collected during a 4-month period from October 20, 2016, to February 21, 2017.
Two hundred and three aquatic therapy professionals responded from 18 countries. Results indicated that 67% of those surveyed use waterproof dressings in their practice. More than half (52%) of those using waterproof dressings had used a dressing 2 to 10 times in the past 12 months. Waterproof dressings were most often used to cover noninfected wounds (67%) and surgical incisions (58%). Tegaderm was the most common product used (78%). The majority of those surveyed (57%) do not use any special kind of skin preparation before applying the waterproof dressing. More than half (59%) have experienced waterproof failure. A small percent (7%) reported a complication associated with a waterproof dressing. The most common reported complication when using waterproof dressings was skin irritation.
Information from this study and current literature confirm the practice and importance of using waterproof dressings in aquatic rehabilitation; however, caution should be taken when interpreting the results due to the relatively low sample size in this survey.
Results indicate a need to further investigate waterproof dressing procedures to improve waterproof success rate as well as the rate of adverse effects with use of waterproof dressings during aquatic therapy treatment.