The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN®) set out to develop an evidence and consensus based algorithm in an effort to provide clinical guidance for selecting support surfaces based on individual patient needs. Published in the Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing (JWOCN), this new tool is the first evidence- and consensus-based algorithm for support surface selection that has undergone content validation.
Although a number of support surfaces have been shown to reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers or facilitate wound healing when compared to standard mattresses, there is insufficient evidence to guide support surface selection to match individual patient needs in many situations.
Three WOCN members with clinical expertise in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment were invited to act as a Task Force for generation and validation of a support surface algorithm. Together they identified search terms for a comprehensive literature search, reviewed the literature and identified key publications, categorized levels of evidence for the use of support surfaces for the prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers, and formulated a draft algorithm. A consensus panel of 20 key opinion leaders then evaluated and modified the draft and evaluated its content validity.
Members can access the full the algorithm and accompanying JWOCN article here.
The development of the algorithm was funded in part by an unrestricted educational grant from Hill-Rom.