Developing Disposable Hair Washing Pad for Bedridden Patients Using Mixed Methods Research

  •  Sachiko Makabe    
  •  Katsushi Maeda    
  •  Sayaka Izumori    
  •  Emiko Konno    
  •  Yayoi Sato    
  •  Nana Yoshioka    
  •  Hideko Shirakawa    
  •  Kenji Ando    


In Japan, diapers are often used to wash bedridden patients’ hair by placing the diaper under the patient’s head for ease of use and efficiency. However, using diapers for the head is an ethical problem as diapers are originally used for elimination care. Developing better equipment to wash hair is necessary to comfort patients and reduce nurses’ workload. Our industry-academia-clinical collaboration team developed a disposable absorbent pad particularly for washing patients’ hair in bed. This study aimed to evaluate this pad developed for bedridden patients. The trial was conducted in five departments at a university hospital between May and August 2016. The post-trial cross-sectional survey for nurses contained demographic data, evaluation of the pad with rating score as quantitative data, free comments as qualitative data, and comparison with diaper used experience. As this study involved development of an equipment and thus to facilitate data triangulation, mixed methods were used. The results revealed that 36 nurses participated (90% response rate). Most were in their 20s (69%). The overall evaluation was “good” (91%). Good water absorption, no water leakage, and easy usage were reported. In a comparison with diapers using experience, the majority preferred the developed pad (81%). Better structure, usage, and resolution of ethical issues were also confirmed in a comparison with diapers. The developed disposable hair washing pad is an efficient tool for nurses to wash bedridden patients’ hair. As it is disposable, infections are also controlled well. Further manufacturing aspects need to be considered for mega production.

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