Beds, overlays and mattresses for treating pressure ulcers


Background: Pressure ulcers (also known as pressure injuries, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers and bed sores) are localised injuries to the skin or underlying soft tissue, or both, caused by unrelieved pressure, shear or friction. Beds, overlays or mattresses are widely used with the aim of treating pressure ulcers.

Objectives: To assess the effects of beds, overlays and mattresses on pressure ulcer healing in people with pressure ulcers of any stage, in any setting.

Search methods: In November 2019, we searched the Cochrane Wounds Specialised Register; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); Ovid MEDLINE (including In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations); Ovid Embase and EBSCO CINAHL Plus. We also searched clinical trials registries for ongoing and unpublished studies, and scanned reference lists of relevant included studies as well as reviews, meta-analyses and health technology reports to identify additional studies. There were no restrictions with respect to language, date of publication or study setting.

Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials that allocated participants of any age to pressure-redistributing beds, overlays or mattresses. Comparators were any beds, overlays or mattresses that were applied for treating pressure ulcers.

Data collection and analysis: At least two review authors independently assessed studies using predetermined inclusion criteria. We carried out data extraction, 'Risk of bias' assessment using the Cochrane 'Risk of bias' tool, and the certainty of the evidence assessment according to Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations methodology.


pressure ulcer, treatment, wound healing, beds, bedding and linen, outcome assessment, healthcare

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