Repositioning for preventing pressure ulcers: a systematic review and meta-analysis



Publication Details

Avsar, P., Moore, Z., Patton, D., O'Connor, T., Budri, A. & Nuget, L. (2020). Repositioning for preventing pressure ulcers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of wound care, 29 (9), 496-508.


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effects of different repositioning regimens on pressure ulcer (PU) incidence in at-risk adult individuals without existing PUs. METHOD: Using systematic review methodology, randomised controlled trials (RCTs), including cluster-RCTs, prospective non-RCTs, pre-post-studies and interrupted-time-series studies were considered. Specifically explored was the impact of the frequency of repositioning, use of repositioning systems and use of turning teams. The search was conducted in January 2019, using PubMed, CINAHL, SCOPUS, Cochrane and EMBASE databases. Data were extracted using a pre-designed extraction tool and analysis was undertaken using RevMan. RESULTS: A total of 530 records were returned, of which 16 met the inclusion criteria. Half of studies were conducted in intensive care units (50%). The mean sample size was 629±604 participants. Frequency of repositioning was explored in nine studies. PU incidence was 8% (n=221/2834) for repositioning every 2-3 hours, versus 13% (n=398/3050) for repositioning every 4-6 hours. The odds ratio (OR) was 0.75 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.61-0.90, p=0.03), suggesting that there is a 25% reduction in the odds of PU development in favour of more frequent repositioning. Use of a repositioning system was explored in three studies. PU incidence was 2% (17/865) for the repositioning system, versus 5.5% (51/926) for care without using the repositioning system. The OR was 0.26 (95% CI: 0.05-1.29, p=0.10); this finding was not statistically significant. Use of a turning team was explored in two studies. PU incidence was 11% (n=22/200) with use of a turning team versus 20% (n=40/200) for usual care. The OR was 0.49 (95% CI: 0.27-0.86, p=0.01) suggesting that there is a 51% reduction in the odds of PU development in favour of use of a turning team. Using GRADE appraisal, the certainty of the evidence was assessed as low. CONCLUSION: The results of this systematic review indicate that more frequent repositioning and use of a turning team reduce PU incidence. However, given the low certainty of evidence, results should be interpreted with caution.

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