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To examine the effectiveness of two methods of preventing blister formation under the taped portion of postoperative hip surgical dressings.Comparative intervention study.Convenience sample of 148 consecutive hip surgery patients in two Connecticut community hospitals.Patients were preoperatively assigned to one of two postoperative surgical hip dressing taping methods or to the control group. The experimental group had the surgical dressing taped to either a hydrocolloid barrier or a nonhydrocolloid barrier 1-inch circumfcrentially around the surgical incision with the control group having the dressing taped directly to the skin.The research results found that taping the surgical dressing to a hydrocolloid barrier prevented blister formation. There were no blisters in either experimental group, but evidence of nonblanchable erythema on two patients in the nonhydrocolloid barrier group.Taping of postoperative surgical hip dressings to a hydrocolloid barrier is superior to taping directly to skin or to a nonhydrocolloid barrierA larger scale study to examine potential factors that might place patients at high risk for blister formation is needed. This would aid in identification of patients that would benefit from different surgical dressing taping methods.