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SKINCARE - Improving skin health and safety in elderly care: a cluster-randomized pragmatic study of elderly nursing home residents (completed)

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Advanced age leads to a number of structural and functional changes in the skin: it becomes drier, thinner and more susceptible to injuries. The acid mantle and the skin's ability to regenerate decrease. The combination of chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, and care dependency creates special skin health risks. This may include skin infections, inflammatory skin conditions or pressure ulcers. Skin care and personal hygiene interventions are high priority in the day-to-day nursing care of residents in nursing homes. Although there are specific standards and guidelines for the prevention and treatment of specific skin problems (e.g., for pressure ulcer prevention), there are no generally accepted recommendations for skin care in institutional long-term care. The overall aim of this project is to investigate whether the implementation of a standardized skin care program in nursing homes leads to an improvement in skin structure and function. This should contribute to an increase in the safety of nursing home residents and to an improvement in the quality of life. Up to 20 nursing homes in the federal state of Berlin will be included in the study. In one half (intervention group) the skin care standard will be implemented, in the other half (control group) it will not. At the end of the study, it will be compared whether there are differences in skin health between the two study groups.

This study is conducted in close cooperation with the Clinical Research Center for Hair and Skin Science at the Department of Dermatology at the Charité ( and the Nursing Research Unit at the Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology of the University of Lübeck ( and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.