Intervention Review

Disposable nappies for preventing napkin dermatitis in infants

  1. Erica L Baer1,*,
  2. Mark W Davies2,
  3. Kirsty Easterbrook3

Editorial Group: Cochrane Skin Group

Published Online: 19 JUL 2006

Assessed as up-to-date: 6 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004262.pub2


How to Cite

Baer EL, Davies MW, Easterbrook K. Disposable nappies for preventing napkin dermatitis in infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD004262. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004262.pub2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Royal Children's Hospital, Herston Road, Queensland, Australia

  2. 2

    Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Grantley Stable Neonatal Unit, 5th floor, Ned Hanlon Building, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  3. 3

    University of Nottingham, c/o Cochrane Skin Group, Nottingham, UK

*Erica L Baer, Herston Road, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston, Brisbane, Queensland, 4029, Australia. Erica_Baer@health.qld.gov.au.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: Edited (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 19 JUL 2006

SEARCH

 

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary

Background

Napkin dermatitis is a common condition that occurs in otherwise healthy infants. It causes discomfort to infants, anxiety to parents and caregivers and contributes to the load on the health care system. A large variety of napkins, both disposable and non-disposable, are available. Evidence is required to assist carers and health care workers in making informed decisions when balancing the pros and cons of different napkin choices.

Objectives

To Assess whether disposable napkins prevent napkin dermatitis in infants.

Search methods

We searched the Skin Group Specialised Register (up to June 2003), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in (The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2004), MEDLINE (from 1966 to November 2004), EMBASE (from 1980 to February 2003) and CINAHL (from 1982 to November 2004). We searched reference lists of articles. We contacted lead investigators in the area and companies that manufacture disposable napkins for access to unpublished trials.

Selection criteria

Randomised controlled trials in which disposable napkins were compared with other types of disposable napkins or non-disposable napkins, in infants up to two years of age, for preventing napkin dermatitis.

Data collection and analysis

Two authors independently extracted data. The same two authors independently assessed trials for methodological quality. Attempts were made to contact trial authors of the trials identified for clarification of methods and results of published trials.

Main results

We identified 28 studies of the effects of various napkin types on napkin dermatitis. Seventeen studies from nine reports were included. Eleven studies were excluded due to methodology that did not fit the inclusion criteria of this review. Due to the poor reporting of methodology and results of the studies found in this review, there were no quantitative data available for analysis (or meta-analysis). Although the included studies appeared to favour cellulose-core disposable napkins over cloth, absorbent gelling material over cellulose-only core napkins, breathable outer shell over occlusive outer shell napkins and linings impregnated with formulations over plain linings, all of these studies were open to bias due to flawed methodology.

Authors' conclusions

There is not enough evidence from good quality randomised controlled trials to support or refute the use and type of disposable napkins for the prevention of napkin dermatitis in infants.

 

Plain language summary

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary

Diposable nappies for preventing nappy rash in babies and infants.

The role of disposable napkins for preventing napkin dermatitis in infants is not yet clear. Although generally not a serious condition, napkin dermatitis is common and causes discomfort for infants, anxiety for carers and burdens the health care system. A variety of napkins are available. Carers and health care workers require evidence to assist in the choice of napkins used. This review found that there was not enough evidence from good quality randomised controlled trials to support or refute the use and type of disposable napkins for the prevention of napkin dermatitis in infants. Better studies need to be done.