A systematic review on the effectiveness and proper technique of repositioning for the prevention of pressure ulcers among immobile patients

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The Ohio State University

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Every year, it is estimated that a total of 2.5 million pressure ulcers are treated in the United States. However, while repositioning, that is changing patient position to alter pressure on the skin, is common practice, it is still unclear if this is the best method for preventing pressure ulcers. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic literature review to determine the strength of the evidence on repositioning immobile patients to prevent pressure ulcers. Using keywords associated with articles on the topic, two databases were searched: PUBMED and CINAHL. Inclusion criteria for articles were studies on humans, English language, and outcome being effect of repositioning. Fourteen articles met the inclusion criteria of this study, and data were abstracted to a standardized form. Nine studies supported the use of repositioning in pressure ulcer prevention to varying degrees and the other five concluded that more research was necessary. The best time intervals and process for repositioning were inconclusive. Although this systematic review did not find conclusive evidence to support repositioning, there was also no harm reported from following the practice. The majority of the studies reviewed found that repositioning does help prevent pressure ulcers. Further research is needed on the time intervals for repositioning, as well as the process such as using technology-driven mattresses versus simply moving patients to a different position.



pressure ulcers, repositioning, systematic review