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Research Publications

Comparing multicomponent interventions to improve skin care behaviors and prevent recurrence in veterans hospitalized for severe pressure ulcers.

Guihan M1, Bombardier CH2, Ehde DM3, Rapacki LM4, Rogers TJ4, Bates-Jensen B5, Thomas FP6, Parachuri R4, Holmes SA7.

OBJECTIVE: To compare a multicomponent motivational interviewing (MI)/self-management (SM) intervention with a multicomponent education intervention to improve skin-protective behaviors and prevent skin worsening in veterans with spinal cord injury (SCI) hospitalized for severe pressure ulcers (PrUs). DESIGN: Single-blinded, prospective, randomized controlled trial. SETTING: Six Veterans Affairs SCI centers. PARTICIPANTS: Veterans admitted for a severe (stage III/IV) PrU were followed up to 6 months postdischarge. INTERVENTION: Telephone-based individual MI counseling plus SM skills group (SM+MI; n=71) versus an active control group of telephone-based individual educational counseling plus group education (n=72). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported skin-protective behaviors, objective skin worsening. RESULTS: Intention-to-treat analyses found nonsignificant increases in skin behaviors in the SM+MI versus education control intervention arms at 3 and 6 months. The difference in behaviors used between SM+MI and education control intervention participants was 4.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], -11.3 to 2.7) (0-3mo) and 3.0% (95% CI, -8.7 to 3.9) (0-6mo). High rates of skin worsening were observed (n=74, 51.7%), usually within 3 months postdischarge and most frequently within the month postdischarge. Skin worsening, skin-related visits, and readmissions did not differ by study arm. Study limitations are presented. CONCLUSIONS: For persons with chronic SCI and severe PrUs, complicated by multiple comorbidities, a primary focus on improving patient behavior is likely insufficient to address the complex problem of PrUs in SCI. More health care systems-level changes such as collaborative care may be needed to reduce PrU recurrence, especially in this era in which many people are discharged from the hospital unhealed or with little sitting tolerance.

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