The incidence of both chronic and acute wounds increases with age and wound care is thus a significant issue for carers and consumers in aged care facilities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long term sustainability of strategies introduced as part of the Champions for Skin Integrity (CSI) model of evidence based wound management, in order to guide development of strategies and resources for national dissemination of the project.
A telephone interview and postal survey was undertaken in late 2012 with 13 Champions for Skin Integrity from seven aged care facilities, who had participated in a project to introduce the CSI Model during 2008 – 2010. The Champions for Skin Integrity model was based on multi-faceted evidence based strategies to promote transfer of evidence into practice and was implemented over a six month period sequentially in each facility.
In the initial implementation phase of the Champions for Skin Integrity model, significant changes were found in increased implementation of evidence based wound management and prevention, associated with significant decreases in the prevalence and severity of pressure injuries, leg ulcers and skin tears (p<0.05). Two years after completion of the initial phase, although some participants reported that factors such as logistical problems and costs hindered implementation of some evidence based recommendations; 92% of the CSIs stated they had been able to sustain changes to their wound care practice, had improved knowledge and confidence, improved resident outcomes had been maintained, and the project resources remained in use.
Findings from this study informed the development of a plan for national dissemination of the CSI Model, including refinement and updating of resources and a national series of ‘train the trainer’ workshops.
This Project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services under the Encouraging Better Practice in Aged Care program.
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