To evaluate the performance of a purpose-designed positioning device, when compared to usual care pillows, to maintain a side lying lateral tilt position among aged care residents at risk of pressure injuries.
An observational comparison study was conducted with aged care residents who were monitored on five occasions while using the usual care pillow and five occasions while using the purpose designed fluidized positioner. Body alignment was measured on each occasion with an iPhone clinometer application at baseline and one and two hours later. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA examined the effect of group and time on the average lateral tilt position.
Results / Discussion:
The sample (n=12) was 83.3 years of age on average (min. 74, max. 97) and two thirds (n=8, 66 %) were female. For the main effects, time and interaction was significant F(2,22)=15.574, p<0.001. Position was not different at baseline, the fluidized positioner 30.67oand the pillow 26.71o on average (p=0.064). The average position was 29.29o for the fluidized positioner and 21.47o for the pillow one-hour later (p=0.003), and 26.75o for the fluidized positioner and 16.64o for the pillow two-hours later (p=0.001).
The fluidized positioner was superior to the pillow for maintaining the side lying lateral tilt position. Movement of the body from the desired position is a major threat to the effectiveness of positioning interventions, and devices that assist to maintain body position can be a valuable addition to patient care. Further research is required with larger samples and in other care settings.