Do the use of alternating pressure air mattresses have an adverse affect on posture?
Background: Alternating Pressure Air Mattresses (APAMs) are a method of relieving pressure without the need for frequent patient turning. Although considered best practice by NICE for the prevention of pressure sores, clinical observation suggests that APAMs can hinder tone management programmes for patients undergoing Neuro-rehabilitation. The continual mattress movement may promote insecurity; reducing a patient’s sense of stability, culminating in increased anxiety and muscle tone. The aim of this study is to compare the effects of APAMs to standard foam mattresses on elbow stiffness and restlessness in patients with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Method This pilot study seeks to recruit 15 ABI patients. Using a single case experimental ABA design, each subject will provide his or her own control data. Subjects will be exposed to a standard foam mattress (A), air mattress (B), finishing on foam mattress (A), for a randomised period of 7 or 14 nights over a total period of 28 nights. F