A Fully Automated Pulsating Support System for Pressure Injury Prevention and Treatment in 10 Belgium Nursing Homes: An Observational Study : Journal of Wound Ostomy & Continence Nursing

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A Fully Automated Pulsating Support System for Pressure Injury Prevention and Treatment in 10 Belgium Nursing Homes

An Observational Study

Raepsaet, Charlotte; Zwaenepoel, Elien; Manderlier, Bénédicte; Van Damme, Nele; Verhaeghe, Sofie; Van Hecke, Ann; Beeckman, Dimitri

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Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing 48(2):p 115-123, March/April 2021. | DOI: 10.1097/WON.0000000000000746



We studied pressure injury (PI) stage II-IV cumulative incidence and the change of PI status in the sacral area of nursing home residents associated with the use of a fully automated pulsating support system air mattress in use for 30 days. We also assessed caregivers', residents', and their family members' experiences and perceptions of mattress comfort and other factors such as pain.


Multicenter cohort study.


A convenience sample of 40 residents residing in 10 Belgian nursing homes was recruited.


Pressure injury classification was confirmed using the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel classification system. The Pressure Ulcer Scale for Healing (PUSH) tool was used to assess and measure PI status change. A comfort assessment was performed at end of the study. Cumulative PI incidence of stages II-IV was calculated, and frequencies and percentages were used to describe the results of the comfort assessments.


Residents were allocated to the prevention group (n = 22) and to the treatment group (n = 18). The cumulative PI incidence was 4.5% (n = 1/22) in the prevention group. In the treatment group, the mean score on the PUSH tool decreased from 9.36 to 7.70 during the observation period, indicating an overall improvement. Four of the existing PIs healed, 17 PIs remained stable, and 1 PI deteriorated. The comfort questionnaires were completed by 76 nursing home caregivers, 21 family members, and 11 residents in the 10 participating nursing homes; the mattress comfort was perceived as very good, and pain was noted to decrease.


Low cumulative PI incidence findings were observed with use of the mattress for the prevention of PIs and resulted in improvements in existing PIs, results which are consistent with several existing studies. The majority of the caregivers, residents, and family members evaluated the mattress as comfortable. Future research is needed to corroborate findings in larger randomized clinical trials.

© 2021 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society

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