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Are different treatments effective for pressure ulcers?
Included studies were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in English that reported outcomes that included wound size or complete healing.
Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and CINAHL (all to Aug 2008) were searched for RCTs. Journals were hand searched to find other articles. 103 RCTS (n = 5889) were included. Trials were assessed for study quality (“good” [score ⩾4] versus “suboptimal” [score ⩽3] based on methodological criteria [maximum score = 6]), clinical setting, and source of funding.
Clinical heterogeneity precluded valid pooling of study results. 12 RCTs (n = 1214) evaluated support surfaces. 4 lower-quality RCTs of 6 total RCTs reported a benefit for powered support surfaces compared with non-powered support surfaces. 5 RCTs compared different types of powered support surfaces. 1 RCT showed that air-fluidised mattresses reduced wound surface area, whereas alternating pressure mattresses covered with foam …
Source of funding Canadian Institutes of Health Research Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement.