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acute care, geriatric, incidence, moisturizer, prevention, older adult, skin tear



  1. Mornane, Carolyn RN
  2. Peck, Blake PhD, RN, BN (Hon)
  3. Terry, Daniel PhD, MS, BN, RN
  4. Ryan, Michael RN, BN


OBJECTIVE: To examine the effectiveness of twice-daily moisturizer application for patients admitted to an acute care setting on reducing the incidence of skin tear (ST) injuries.


DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This prospective, nonrandomized, case-control study identified an experimental and control ward equivalent in demography and patient acuity in a large hospital in regional Victoria, Australia. Patients 70 years or older admitted to the wards were invited to participate.


INTERVENTION: Twice-daily application of a commercially available skin and body lotion to the arms and legs of participants.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The incidence of ST in the experimental and control settings in the pre-, intra-, and posttrial periods.


MAIN RESULTS: Although a decrease in ST incidence was observed over the study period (n = 128), this decrease was not significant pre- (median = 2.16, n = 73), intra- (median = 2.16, n = 73), or postintervention (median = 2.16, n = 69; [chi][2, 152] = 0.502, P = .778). Similarly, there was no significant difference between wards (median = 9.86 [n = 152] vs median = 13.14 [n = 177]; U = 42.50, z = -1.198, r = 0.358, P = .231).


CONCLUSIONS: The moisturizer in this study did not have a direct influence on the frequency of STs in the study population, although the data would suggest an intermittent reduction in ST incidence. The authors postulate that this was correlated with behavior change effects from the study.