Donna Z. Bliss, Ph.D., R.N.

A first-of-its-kind study tying incontinence-associated dermatitis to several risk factors underscores the need for wound and ostomy care nurses in skilled nursing facilities.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing found a greater incidence of dermatitis among patients admitted with a perineal pressure injury; those not receiving preventative interventions; and those with greater functional limitation, more perfusion problems or fewer cognitive deficits.

The study, published in the March/April Journal of Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing, found 5.5% of patients developed new cases of dermatitis after being admitted to nursing homes. Nearly 90% developed IAD with two weeks of the first occurrence of incontinence.

Researchers reviewed medical records and doctors’ orders for 10,700 patients in 28 states and found preventative interventions provided the strongest protective factor. Delivering a program to at-risk patients cut their risk by 46%.

“Preventing and managing IAD is an integral part of WOC nursing practice, and findings of this study affirm the value of the WOC nurse in the nursing home setting,” reported the researchers, led by Donna Z. Bliss, Ph.D., R.N.

WOC nurses can help identify patients most at-risk, advocate for preventative programs and emphasize the need for timely healing of perineal pressure injuries.