Transforming Lives Through Seating

Aim of Clinical Research

Seating Matters collaborated with leading researchers at Ulster University to identify the importance of suitable seating provision in reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers and postural difficulties.  This randomised control trial explored the effectiveness of specialist seating provision within a nursing home environment and how it has the potential to impact positively on the health and wellbeing of residents and their caregivers.  It identified the key principles of correct positioning, seating and mobility and the influence this can have on the health of older people.

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Conclusions

This important clinical study was in the form of a randomised control trial and studied in effect of prescription of clinical, therapeutic seating on older adults.  This relevant and current piece of research provides information on strategies and protocols needed for appropriate seating and positioning recommendations.  The needs of each patient are different and require individualised assessment to provide appropriate clinical guidance and recommendations for seating.  This is a fundamental aspect of patient care which has a direct effect on many wider aspects of an individual’s health and wellbeing. The Seating Matters chairs have been researched intensively and clinically trialled for those who are elderly or have complex seating needs*.

The interesting results* have demonstrated what we already believe, that the correct use of specialised seating can lead to;

  • A significant reduction in pressure ulcer incidence.

  • Oxygen saturation levels increased amongst 85% of patients.

  • Increased functional ability.

  • Improved posture and a reduction in the development of postural deformities or sliding/falling from the chair.

  • Improvement in respiration, elimination, digestion and other physiological functions.

  • Improved quality of life and psychological wellbeing.

  • Improved communication and interaction.

  • Improved comfort and reduction in pain levels.

  • A significant reduction in expenditure on staff labour and treatment of pressure ulcers.

*The resulting report from this randomized control trial shows that the study consisted of 38 participants from 3 nursing home settings, who were randomly assigned to control and intervention groups using computer-generated numbers. The study reported a reduction in pressure ulcers, which has been calculated from the reduction in pressure ulcers/pressure injuries/skin redness in the intervention group. The control group of the study experienced an increase in pressure ulcers during this period. As a pilot study of a specific nature, it was not blinded. The measurement of pressure ulcers was observational and the analysis of the results included various forms, not including statistical analysis. The study has been reviewed and presented at over 30 academic conferences in 3 continents and is pending publication in a respected peer-reviewed journal.

Source:  Daly, O., Casey, J., Martin, S., Tierney, M. & McVey, O. (2013) The effectiveness of specialist seating provision for nursing home residents, Ulster University. 

Request your free copy of The Clinician’s Seating Handbook below which contains The Four Principles of Pressure Management in Seating which were developed as a result of this research study, to guide you through your daily practice or click here to download your free poster.

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