Pressure garment therapy in children across the ages: less is more

Mrs Kristen  Storey1, Mrs Tamsin Mahoney1, Professor Roy Kimble1,2

1Queensland Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, Australia, 2Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, South Brisbane, Australia



Pressure garment therapy and silicone gel are common interventions utilised by burns therapists in the prevention and management of hypertrophic scars (Often combined), despite limited clinical evidence to support the efficacy of either treatment modality. Additionally, the challenges with pressure garment prescription including patient adherence, burden and cost of treatment, and inability to quantify or standardise pressure (mmHg) applied to the scar are recognised.

A randomised controlled trial is currently being conducted at our centre exploring the effectiveness of topical silicone gel and pressure garment therapy for burn scar prevention and management in children.

Preliminary results presented at ANZBA 2018 revealed:

–              There is no benefit to using combined interventions (i.e. silicone gel and pressure garment therapy) in reducing scar height.

–              Combined interventions resulted in increased adverse events and reduced adherence to treatment.

The purpose of this review was to establish if there has been a reduction in pressure garment therapy prescription following this RCT.


A cost analysis of custom-made pressure garment expenditure 4 months prior to, and 4 months post the trial was conducted to explore changes to pressure garment prescription.


The cost analysis to date has revealed custom-made pressure garment expenditure:

–              Pre trial: $77,608.32

–              Post trial: $38, 532.52


There has been a reduction in pressure garment prescription following the trial as demonstrated in the cost reduction to the unit, despite an increase in burns admissions annually. This shift in practice has resulted in significant reductions in consumable expenditure and therapist time within our Burns Centre.


Bio to come


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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