Activity aprons for inpatients requiring individual nursing assignment care: A prospective randomized controlled pilot study

Michael W. Ruff, Anthony Fine, Jay Mandrekar, Cindy Sweeney, Lyell K. Jones, James P. Klaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Activity aprons are commercially available products used to occupy patients with dementia at home or in longterm care facilities. We hypothesized that inpatient use of activity aprons could potentially reduce or eliminate behaviors that result in self-harm, increased nursing supervision, and restraint use in an inpatient hospital setting. Methods: A single-center prospective randomized controlled pilot study was performed from July 2015 to November 2016 comparing activity apron plus standard care versus standard care alone. Consecutively enrolled patients were randomized by stratified randomization using age (cutoff: 80 years) and preexisting diagnosis of dementia or cognitive impairment. Primary outcomes were safety and feasibility of apron use. Secondary outcomes included duration of hospitalization postrandomization and individual nursing assignment (IA), time in restraints, nonphysical restraints use, falls, apron-related complications, dismissal destination, and 30-day hospital readmission. Results: Thirty patients were enrolled, with 13 randomized to apron and 17 randomized to the control group. There was no statistically significant reduction in mean length of hospital stay (15.8 vs 21.5 day; P = .40), duration of IA compared to non-apron control group (6.4 vs 9.1, respectively; P = .39), or antipsychotic medication use (61.5% vs 70.6% in control group; P = .60). No complications secondary to apron use were seen. Conclusions: Activity aprons are a safe addition to the standard of care when managing encephalopathic patients in the inpatient setting. These aprons may have a role as part of a comprehensive complement of interventions to address delirium and encephalopathy in hospitalized patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-187
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Activity apron
  • Individual nursing assignment
  • Length of hospitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Activity aprons for inpatients requiring individual nursing assignment care: A prospective randomized controlled pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this