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DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF A HYBRID SUPPORT SURFACE AND ITS EVALUATION FOR STRESS AND COMFORT EXPERIENCE AMONG OLDER ADULTS
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Background: Pressure ulcers are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue over prominent bony areas, mainly due to constant pressure. Even though pressure ulcers are preventable, millions of people suffer from these wounds every year. Support surfaces are devices specifically designed to help with the prevention and care of pressure ulcers. Hybrid support surfaces combine different components and features to meet specific needs and conditions of users. Objective: This study concerns the design and development of a hybrid support surface prototype, intended for the prevention and care of pressure ulcers, and its evaluation for stress and comfort experience among older adults. Method: The prototype was developed after conducting interviews with clinicians, patients, and other stakeholders to establish design criteria. Forty-six healthy older adults (35 females and 11 males) aged 51-93 years were recruited to evaluate the prototype in a laboratory setting and a continuing care retirement community. The hybrid support surface provided automated pressure changes and an automated tilting mechanism. Participants were required to lie down on the hybrid support surface in a supine position for 15-minutes. Participants’ stress levels (heart rate variability) were measured on and off the support surface. Participants also completed the General Discomfort Assessment (GDA), the Discomfort Intensity Score (DIS) assessment, and a structured interview session to measure comfort. Results: Results indicated a significant difference in stress level (p<.0001) when participants were on the support surface compared to when they were off the support surface. Comfort scores for both GDA and DIS were very low, indicating participants were comfortable when lying on the hybrid support surface. Conclusion: Although further studies are required to evaluate the efficacy of the hybrid support surface for the care and prevention of pressure ulcers, results indicate this new hybrid support surface reduces stress without sacrificing comfort in older adults.
bed sores; hybrid support surface; pressure ulcers; support surface; Design
Green, Keith E.
Shepherd, Robert F.
Design and Environmental Analysis
M.S., Design and Environmental Analysis
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis