Profiling Beds versus standard hospital beds: effects on pressure ulcer incidence outcomes

Anne-Maria Keogh, Carol Dealey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Most standard hospital beds are flat based with a pull-out backrest, resulting in a tendency for the patient to slide down the bed. This study aimed to compare the outcome for patients at high risk of developing pressure ulcers nursed on either this type of bed or an electrically operated, multi-sectioned profiling bed. A total of 100 patients were randomly assigned either to the profiling bed with a pressure-reducing foam mattress (experimental group) or a flat-based bed with an appropriate pressure-redistributing mattress (control group) for a maximum of 10 days. Risk status and pressure damage were assessed daily. Both a patient and a nurse questionnaire were completed. Data from 70 patients who participated in the study for five days or more were included in the analysis. Pressure ulcer incidence was 0% in both groups. All patients (35) in the experimental group were able to maintain a sitting position compared with only 12/35 in the control group (p = 0.0001). While the questionnaire results suggest there were significant differences in postural control and ease of transfer between patients in the two groups, it was not possible to map this to pressure ulcer formation. Poor recruitment into the study was due to the 'blocking' of electric beds by heavily dependent patients who did not meet the inclusion criteria, precluding a significant result in terms of pressure ulcer outcomes. This nurse-led use of the profiling beds was examined alongside the main study to investigate why they were allocated in this way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Wound Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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