• clinical trial;
  • incontinence;
  • nursing intervention

Aims and objectives.  The aims of this study were to measure skin moisture and transepidermal water loss after application of uncoated paper and to compare skin moisture and transepidermal water loss after use of uncoated paper and disposable underpads.

Study design.  The study was a cross-over, prospective, open-labeled, randomized trial.

Sample and setting.  Bedridden patients aged ≥18 years at a medical center in Korea were included. Treatment order was randomly assigned using block randomization, with a block size of 4 and an assignment rate of one-by-one.

Methods.  Skin moisture was measured using a Corneometer 825 and transepidermal water loss was measured using a Tewameter 300.

Results.  Skin moisture after application of an uncoated paper was significantly lower than observed after application of a disposable underpad (mean 40·6 and SD 13·1 vs. mean 64·6 and SD 23·7, p < 0·001). Transepidermal water loss also showed greater health scores after using uncoated paper (mean 11·1 and SD 5·7 g/m2/hour) than after applying a disposable underpad (mean 23·2 and SD 11·1 g/m2/hour, p < 0·001). There were no statistical between-group differences in room temperature, relative humidity, and body temperature.

Conclusion.  We found that uncoated paper was helpful in avoiding excessive moisture without adverse effects.

Relevance to clinical practice.  As indicated by the results of this study, uncoated paper can be applied to bed-ridden patients who required incontinence care. Nurses may consider using uncoated paper as one of nursing methods in the routine care of bed-ridden patients for moisture control.