An evaluation of costs and effects of a nutrient-based skin care program as a component of prevention of skin tears in an extended convalescent center

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2010 Jan-Feb;37(1):46-51. doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3181c68c89.


Purpose: A decision model was developed in a pilot study comparing a regimen using a skin care product line containing active ingredients and nutrients with a commercially available alternative skin care regimen in an elderly convalescent care hospital-based center.

Methods: Using a decision-tree model, skin treatment with a nutrient-based skin care (NBSC) formulation was compared with products without nutrients. The number of skin-tear-free days was the primary outcome measure. A cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated for each skin treatment as the average cost for reaching a particular outcome. Incidence of skin tear data was collected from residents in a convalescent center from 2004 to 2005. An independent t test was used to compare differences in the number of skin tears between periods when NBSC and other formulations were used. All costs in the decision model were adjusted to 2007 dollars. Sensitivity analysis was used to test uncertain data.

Results: The NBSC provided more skin-tear-free days and was less costly than the use of non-NBSC products. The expected skin-tear-free days for a patient in the model treated with NBSC were 179.7 days compared with 154.6 days for non-NBSC products, yielding an incremental effect of 25.1 days. The expected cost of preventing skin tears and treatment via skin treatment per patient in the NBSC group was $281.00 versus $324.10 for periods when other products were used.

Conclusion: The NBSC had a lower projected cost for prevention of skin tears and more skin-tear-free days when compared with non-NBSC products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Trees
  • Dietary Supplements / economics*
  • Hospitals, Convalescent*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lacerations / epidemiology*
  • Lacerations / prevention & control*
  • Phospholipids / economics
  • Phospholipids / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin Care / economics*
  • Surface-Active Agents / economics
  • Surface-Active Agents / therapeutic use


  • Phospholipids
  • Surface-Active Agents