Use of night-time positioning equipment in care home residents with postural asymmetry: a pilot study
Evidence and practice    

Use of night-time positioning equipment in care home residents with postural asymmetry: a pilot study

Melanie Stephens Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing, School of Health and Society, University of Salford, Salford, England
Carol Bartley Independent Occupational Therapist, Rehab for Independence Limited, Heskin, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand how suboptimal posture in older people can negatively affect their well-being

  • To recognise the role of night-time positioning equipment in improving posture in older people

  • To improve your knowledge on the wider benefits of night-time positioning in older people

Background Twenty four-hour postural care that includes the use of night-time positioning equipment (NTPE) is being increasingly recommended. However, because most of the published studies focus on children, there is a lack of evidence on the use of NTPE in adults.

Aim The aim of this pilot study was to assess the effect of NTPE use in UK care home residents with complex health conditions and postural asymmetry.

Methods Ten care home residents trialled NTPE over a 12-week period. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected before and after each trial using standardised assessment tools. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants and relatives after each trial. Staff’s views were elicited via two focus groups at the end of the study.

Results There were notable benefits of NTPE use in terms of participants’ pain levels, sleep quality, risk of pressure ulcers, risk of choking, and weight. There was also evidence of improvements in participants’ function, ability to undertake activities of daily living and quality of life. However, some equipment was abandoned during the trials because participants found it too hot or restrictive.

Conclusion This pilot study increases the evidence base for a personalised approach to 24-hour postural care that can support older people’s health and well-being. Further empirical studies are required to determine how NTPE can be used to improve older people’s quality of life.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1216

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

This study was funded by a small innovation grant from Simple Stuff Works

Stephens M, Bartley C (2020) Use of night-time positioning equipment in care home residents with postural asymmetry: a pilot study. Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2020.e1216

Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank physiotherapist and postural care trainer Tess Ellis, who delivered the training, and assessed, installed and developed care plans for the participants’ sleep systems; and clinical nurse lead Craig Priestley, who assisted with recruitment of participants

Published online: 25 March 2020

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