CARE4 International Scientific Nursing and Midwifery Congress edition:1 location:Belgium, Antwerp date:4-6 February 2015
Introduction & aim
Skin care is essential to the wellbeing of elderly and constitutes one of the cornerstones of nursing practice. Traditional washing with water and soap is still standard of care, but increasingly replaced by disposable wash gloves with cleansing lotion. Currently, there is few evidence on the effect of disposable wash gloves on skin hydration. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare the effect of 2 washing methods on skin hydration in nursing home residents.
Residents from 2 nursing homes were divided into 2 groups: 40 residents received the traditional washing method, while disposable wash gloves were provided to 105 residents. Skin hydration was measured using a MoistureMeter SC at 3 skin sites (cheek, hand and lower leg) and two time points (before and after 12 weeks of implementation). Residents characteristics, bath practices as well as environmental influences were recorded.
The mean age was 85.5 years. No differences were observed in personal characteristics between both groups. Significantly more residents in the control group had a weekly bath and used liquid soap. The mean room temperature was significantly higher in the control group, while humidity was lower. Total skin hydration did not differ between residents at the start of the study in both groups (p=0,213). After implementation, hydration in the intervention group was significantly higher at all skin sites and total skin (p<0,001). In both groups the percentage of residents with dry skin at the legs decreased, but a higher decrease was observed in the control group (14% versus 9% in the intervention group).
Disposable wash gloves have a positive influence on the skin of residents, thereby reducing the risk of dry skin. It can be used as an innovative washing method in nursing homes. However, attention for the skincare of the legs is still necessary. Disposable wash gloves do not replace the use of hydration for legs.