Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Michelle LaBrecque


Pressure Ulcer -- prevention & control; Pressure Ulcer -- therapy


Pressure ulcers are a current problem for many individuals, both ambulatory and non-ambulatory. Insurance companies offer few policies and programs for individuals with pressure ulcers who are ambulatory, leaving these individuals minimal options to acquire pressure reliving devices that are covered by insurance. Non-traditional, inexpensive pressure reliving devices may be used as a cost effective alternative to a more expensive cushion. Little research has been conducted to determine if a less expensive device, such as a Homedics Micropedic Therapy pillow, would be effective in relieving pressure while seated.

The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference between sitting pressure when seated on a hard surface, a surface with a built-in cushion, and a Homedics Micropedic Therapy pillow. One benefit of this study is to give physical therapists evidence based information on inexpensive pressure relieving devices in order to educate patients who are ambulatory and who may be at risk for a pressure ulcer.

Thirty-five ambulatory subjects between the ages of 23 and 55 sat on the three surfaces. A Force Sensitive Application (FSA) pressure mapping system was used to assess the mean pressure, the number of sensors activated, the variation of pressure, and the standard deviation of pressure for each seated surface.

Statistical significance was found in the measurements between all three surfaces, with one exception. When comparing the hard surface to the surface with a built-in cushion, there was no statistical significance in mean pressure. The results from this study showed that the Homedics Micropedic Therapy pillow is statistically significant for reducing seated pressure.