Reduction of prolonged excessive pressure in seated persons with paraplegia using wireless lingual tactile feedback: a randomized controlled trial

June 19, 2018

A. Moreau-GaudryO. ChenuM. V. DangJ-L. BossonM. HommelJ. DemongeotF. CannardB. DiotA. PrinceC. HughesN. VuillermeY. Payan

Early Access Note:
Early Access articles are new content made available in advance of the final electronic or print versions and result from IEEE’s Preprint or Rapid Post processes. Preprint articles are peer-reviewed but not fully edited. Rapid Post articles are peer-reviewed and edited but not paginated. Both these types of Early Access articles are fully citable from the moment they appear in IEEE Xplore.


Pressure ulcers (PU) are known to be a high-cost disease with a risk of severe morbidity. This work evaluates a new clinical strategy based on an innovative medical device (Tongue Display Unit – TDU) that implements perceptive supplementation in order to reduce prolonged excessive pressure, recognized as one of the main causes of PU. A randomized, controlled, parallel-group trial was carried out with 12 subjects with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Subjects were assigned to the control (without TDU, n=6) or intervention (with TDU, n=5) group. Each subject took part in two sessions, during which the subject, seated on a pressure map sensor, watched a movie for one hour. The TDU was activated during the second session of the intervention group. Intention-to-treat analysis showed that the improvement in adequate weight shifting between the two sessions was higher in the intervention group (0.84 [0.24; 0.89]) than in the control group (0.01 [-0.01; 0.09]; p=0.004) and that the ratio of prolonged excessive pressure between the two sessions was lower in the intervention group (0.74 [0.37; 1.92]) than in the control group (1.72 [1.32; 2.56]; p=0.06). The pressure map sensor was evaluated as being convenient for use in daily life, however this was not the case for the TDU. This work shows that persons with SCI could benefit from a system based on perceptive supplementation that alerts and guides the user on how to adapt their posture in order to reduce prolonged excessive pressure, one of the main causes of PU.



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