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Interface Pressure: A Comparison Between Two Pressure-relieving Cushions and their Effectiveness with Prolonged Sitting

1 May 2005


Background and purpose: Pressure-relieving wheelchair cushions are key factors in the prevention of pressure ulcers. Studies have compared wheelchair cushions; however few have used realistic testing periods. The purpose of this study was to compare a newly developed cushion from Keen Mobility to a cushion from The Roho Group, a "gold standard" in pressure-relieving wheelchair cushions. A further goal was to examine changes in cushion performance over a prolonged period.

Methods: Four subjects were asked to sit for three hours on two different pressure-relieving wheelchair cushions. Pressure mapping was used to gather data on mean pressure, peak pressure, and number of sensors activated. Subjects also rated the cushions on comfort.

Results: There were significant increases in mean pressure with time for both cushions. The Keen cushion activated a significantly greater number of sensors than did the Roho cushion. Comfort tended to decrease with time for both cushions.

Conclusion and Discussion: The two cushions have a similar ability to relieve pressure; however, the Keen cushion provides better envelopment. Also, long periods of sitting correlate with increases in interface pressure.


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