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Mary Pat Rapp, Ph. D., RN, GN-BC
Mary Pat Rapp, Ph. D., RN, GN-BC
Q: What is the TURN Study?

A: It's a multi-site, randomized controlled trial for pressure ulcer prevention–Turning For Ulcer ReductioN [TURN].
We are actively recruiting facilities for it.

Q: What's the study about?

A: There's a tradition that says persons at risk for pressure ulcers should be repositioned every two hours. But that's a perception based on a few studies done in England in the 1960s, when they used spring mattresses with hard covers. We think it's time to rethink that.

Q: What do you mean?

A: There's better equipment, such as high-density foam mattresses that redistribute weight better and micro fiber covers that hold off heat and perspiration better than old covers did. We're having study subjects turned at either every two, three or four hours. They get
a lot of surveillance and attention.

Q: Aren't frequent checks better?

A: If you don't have to turn patients every two hours, it improves their quality of life—they can sleep better. I think it probably would affect their immune system and behavioral issues. It's also a safety issue for nurse aides.

Dr. Rapp can be contacted at mary.p.rapp@utch.tcm.edu or (713) 500-2133.