SCI vs. Elderly Participants
The elderly have been identified as an at-risk group for skin integrity issues due to the normal changes in skin as it ages. This, in combination with decreased ambulation and more time spent in sitting, results in increased pressure related skin integrity issues. There are many similarities in potential contributing factors in pressure related skin issues of the elderly population and the SCI population. Brienza and Karg (1998) compared sitting pressures between these two groups.
Brienza and Karg (1998) found differences in interface pressure mapping between participants with SCI and elderly adults. Elderly adults are also often at risk of skin integrity issues due to pressure but not across as many parameters as people with SCI. This study identified significant differences between these two groups across most parameters measured, suggesting that data from pressure mapping should not be generalized between groups.
There is level 4 evidence (from one prospective controlled trial: Brienza & Karg 1998) to support not generalizing pressure mapping data from the elderly population to the SCI population.