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aging, feces, incontinence, perineal dermatitis, skin



  1. Bliss, Donna Zimmaro
  2. Savik, Kay
  3. Harms, Susan
  4. Fan, Qiao
  5. Wyman, Jean F.


Background: Perineal dermatitis is an adverse outcome of incontinence, which is common in older nursing home residents; yet knowledge about perineal dermatitis in this population is sorely lacking.


Objectives: To determine the prevalence and significant correlates of perineal dermatitis in older nursing home residents.


Methods: Assessment data from 59,558 records in the Minimum Data Set (MDS) were linked with 2,883,049 orders in the medical record which enabled definition of variables related to perineal dermatitis, identification of cases, and determination of the prevalence of perineal dermatitis. Data from two subsamples, each with the records of 10,215 older nursing home residents, were analyzed using logistic regression to identify the significant correlates of perineal dermatitis.


Results: Perineal dermatitis was found in 5.7% (n = 3,405) of residents and 73% of these were incontinent. Having perineal dermatitis was significantly associated with (a) impairments in tissue tolerance (i.e., more health problems, presence of a fever, requiring nutrition support, and having more problems of diminished perfusion or oxygenation); (b)problems of the perineal environment (i.e., having fecal incontinence only, double incontinence, and more items associated with mechanical chafing); and (c) altered toileting ability from daily use of restraints.


Discussion: Several correlates of perineal dermatitis (mechanical chafing, fecal and double incontinence, and use of restraints) appear modifiable through nursing intervention. Clinical interventions should consider the complex health status of this population.