The Effectiveness of 24 Postural Care in the Management of Contractures in Care Homes


A case study by Kim Owens and Gemma Daly, Occupational Therapists from Middlesbrough Social Services shows that implementation of a 24 hour Postural Care program in a Care Home environment can result in the reduction of contractures and improvements in quality of life and ease of care.

Seven residents were selected for the study from a 64-bed Care Home for those over 65 years old. They presented with different degrees of contractures ranging from early onset to severe and confined to bed. Contractures were measured and pressure mapping conducted over a 10-month period.

A combination of therapies was applied which included implementation of night-time positioning systems for all, and supportive day time seating when possible.

Results: Where therapeutic interventions were consistently applied there was evidence of significant improvements in range of movement, quality of life and ease of care. Two residents who did not receive consistent therapeutic intervention displayed evidence of deterioration relating to range of movement.

The team used an innovative sticker chart method to assist staff in setting up the equipment accurately.

The clinical evidence from the trial has enabled the Clinicians to secure funding from Middlesbrough Council for further training and specialist equipment for Care Home residents. In addition, these Clinicians have implemented 24-hour Postural Care programs in other Care Homes where similar positive outcomes are being recorded.


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