Costs and Acceptability of Two Special Overlays for the Prevention of Pressure Sores


School of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1W5, Canada.


In a randomized clinical trial, 187 adult patients with chronic neurologic conditions who were at a high risk of developing pressure sores were assigned for 3 months to either an alternating air (AA) mattress overlay or a silicore (S) mattress overlay. Costs associated with each overlay were calculated and compared by adding depreciation and yearly expenses related to maintenance, operation, and repair for 148 patients who completed the trial. Acceptability was measured by questionnaires and interviews involving 45 of the patients' primary nurses and a sample of 40 patients (20 from each overlay group). The annual cost of the AA overlay was 54% more than that of the S overlay. Although most nurses (more than 74%) believed that both overlays helped prevent pressure sores and deter their progression, many (more than 56%) would not recommend either type to other facilities or to patients at home due to specific negative features. Implications for manufacturers, investigators, clinicians, and administrators are identified.