Pressure ulcers are lesions caused by friction, unrelieved pressure, temperature, age among other numerous factors, especially in parts of the body that have cartilaginous or bony prominences like the sacrum, elbows and knees. Pressure on a tissue decreases perfusion and causes an ischemia which could lead to tissue necrosis leading to the formation of an ulcer.
Research Problem Establishment
Pressure sores though treatable, if found early are difficult to prevent in wheelchair users, the elderly or terminally ill persons. One of the leading iatrogenic causes of mortality is the pressure ulcers, especially in developed countries. This condition ranks the second after adverse drug reactions. With a prevalence of up to 18% and an incidence rate of up to 38% in the United States of America, this is a problem that needs instant attention. The rates of pressure sores are higher in intensive care units with up to 40% of the patients developing pressure sores and many of the patients that suffer from this affliction have a suppressed immune system. This research aims to identify better ways of preventing the pressure ulcers and their adverse effects.
The research aim is to find better ways of preventing the formation of pressure ulcers.
The study will be based on a null hypothesis that factors like incontinence, moisture, decreased mental status and nutritional deficits contribute to the formation of pressure ulcers
Sampling Method and Study Design
The study will apply qualitative statistical methods. According to Silverman (2000), the methods will involve providing in-depth explanation to observed behaviours. A sample survey approach will be used. The approach involves selecting and studying a random and finite subset of a population (Bhattacharyya & Johnson 1977). Sample observations are then used to make conclusions about the entire population. In the method, all population units will have equal chances for being included in the sample and consequently, formation of an unbiased sample. Participants will be both male and female patients.
Because the research will involve studying the two sexes separately, it will adopt a stratified sampling design (Dorofeev & Grant 2006). A total of 100 individuals will participate in the study. Each stratum will have 50 individuals, where 30 patients will form a study group while 20 individuals will form a control group. Both primary and secondary data sources will be used in the study. Primary sources will encompass observations from practical procedures.
Both descriptive and inferential statistics will be used in analysis. Descriptive analysis will entail computation of means, variances and range of observed values (Holcomb, 1997). Inferential statistical analysis will involve determining significant meanings of statistics obtained in descriptive analysis (Miller 1997). That is, inferential procedures will involve using SPSS to analyse the collected data. All continuous data will be expressed as mean ± Standard Deviation. Categorical data will, however, be expressed as real numbers (Wilcox 2010). For continuous variables, Shapiro-Wilk test will be used to test for normality of the distribution. One-way ANOVA and Chi-square test will be used to compare continuous and discrete variables respectively.
This research will seek to establish the effectiveness of moisturizer on dry skin and the effectiveness of an education program aimed at informing the population about the pressure ulcers. In addition, it will seek to establish the effectiveness of pillows and foam wedges in reducing the incidence of pressure sores. All the data collected will be analyzed in a bid to identify more or better solutions to the menacing problem at hand; pressure ulcers.