Pressure Mapping of a Standard Hospital Recliner and Select Cushions With Healthy Adults: A Comparative Study

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aim of the study was to compare the degree of pressure created when healthy adult volunteers sat on a hospital recliner chair in various positions and on various cushions.

DESIGN:

Comparative cross-sectional study.

SUBJECTS AND SETTING:

Thirty-four healthy subjects were recruited from the community, an urban city in a rural area of Eastern North Carolina.

METHODS:

Interface pressure measurements were taken by the investigators for each subject sitting on a standard hospital recliner under each of the following conditions: no cushion, foam cushion, nonadjustable air cushion, nonadjustable air/foam cushion, and adjustable air cushion. Subject positions, upright sitting and reclined, were randomly selected. Analyses consisted of data visualizations by investigators and univariate statistics. For each surface, mean pressure, peak pressure, and Pressure Area Index (PAI) were obtained and compared. Inferences were drawn from a repeated-measures analysis-of-covariance model.

RESULTS:

Subject position was not associated with any of the measures for each surface after adjusting for other variables (average pressure P = .1094, maximum/peak pressure P = .1318, PAI P = .4336). Subject weight, the type of surface, and their interaction do impact the results (average pressure, maximum/peak pressure, and PAI, P < .0001). The foam cushion had the highest mean and average interface pressures and the lowest PAI. The nonadjustable air and air/foam cushions performed most similarly to each other, showing lowest mean and average interface pressures and the highest PAI.

CONCLUSION:

Position of a hospital recliner chair in the 2 positions studied had no association with interface pressure outcomes; therefore, other methods of pressure redistribution need to be utilized by clinicians. Based on the results of this study, clinicians may need to reevaluate the type of cushion used in the acute hospital setting, as a standard foam cushion was found to increase interface pressures when compared to other cushions and a standard hospital recliner.

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