Systematic review of behavioral and educational interventions to prevent pressure ulcers in adults with spinal cord injury

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the efficacy of behavioral or educational interventions in preventing pressure ulcers in community-dwelling adults with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Data sources:

Cochrane, Clinical Trials, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched in June 2016. The search combined related terms for pressure ulcers, spinal cord injury, and behavioral intervention. Each database was searched from its inception with no restrictions on year of publication.

Review methods:

Inclusion criteria required that articles were (a) published in a peer-reviewed journal in English, (b) evaluated a behavioral or educational intervention for pressure ulcer prevention, (c) included community-dwelling adult participants aged 18 years and older with SCI, (d) measured pressure ulcer occurrence, recurrence, or skin breakdown as an outcome, and (e) had a minimum of 10 participants. All study designs were considered. Two reviewers independently screened titles and abstracts. Extracted information included study design, sample size, description of the intervention and control condition, pressure ulcer outcome measures, and corresponding results.

Results:

The search strategy yielded 444 unique articles of which five met inclusion criteria. Three were randomized trials and two were quasi-experimental designs. A total of 513 participants were represented. The method of pressure ulcer or skin breakdown measurement varied widely among studies. Results on pressure ulcer outcomes were null in all studies. Considerable methodological problems with recruitment, intervention fidelity, and participant adherence were reported.

Conclusions:

At present, there is no positive evidence to support the efficacy of behavioral or educational interventions in preventing pressure ulcer occurrence in adults with SCI.

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