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Clinical Trials

We're doing our research

Due to the growing demand for our GripSox® (non slip grip socks) product, we thought we should further explore their benefits and uses.

A randomised trial comparing GripSox®, standard socks and bare feet, that was conducted independently by some of Australia's leading researchers into falls prevention (Hatton, A et al), was published in the November/December 2013 Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association.  Here is an abbreviated summary of the main findings:

  • Participants wore two different types of socks. The nonslip anklet socks (GripSox, Brighton East, VIC, Australia) were 95% cotton and 5% elastane, with a noncushioned rubberized sole designed to provide extra grip and foot sensation for improved performance and gripping of floor surfaces. The rubber grip components (diameter, 3 mm; minimum center-to-center distance, 6 mm) were regularly spaced over the sole of the sock. The standard anklet socks were 100% cotton, with no rubber grip components.

  • Compared with wearing standard socks, wearing GripSox® improves gait performance and may be beneficial in reducing the risk of slipping in older people.
  • The standard sock condition was considered to be the most slippery, followed by barefoot, with the GripSox® perceived to be the least slippery. The pairwise comparisons between standard socks and the GripSox® and barefoot conditions reached significance (P ≤.001 for both).

  • The present findings seem to suggest that older people who walk slower when wearing standard socks may benefit more from wearing GripSox®.

  • It is possible that wearing GripSox® enables slower older people to walk with greater confidence.

  • These findings confirm those of Hübscher et al (2011), who reported that nonslip socks provide comparable levels of slip resistance as barefoot and greater resistance than standard socks or backless slippers, as evidenced by reduced heel deceleration.

  • The study reports promising evidence for the slip-resistant properties of GripSox® during gait.

  • It is possible that GripSox® have the capacity to bring gait patterns back to optimal barefoot levels in older people. It is also possible that the rubber grip components of the GripSox® may have provided enhanced tactile stimulation to cutaneous mechanoreceptors on the soles of the feet, leading to alterations in gait.

  • Note that participants considered the GripSox® to be less slippery than walking barefoot despite the slip threshold test indicating otherwise. It is possible that purely kinesthetic input from the nonslip rubber grip components on the soles of the feet, may have drawn participants’ attention to their walking, leading them to feel more stable and to walk as confidently as when barefoot.

  • Findings from this study may not extrapolate to other commercially available non-slip socks. It is possible that differences in the geometric pattern, distribution, or rubber material of grip components on nonslip socks may provide varying levels of slip resistance.

  • The findings from this study provide preliminary evidence that GripSox® enhance gait and may have the capacity to reduce slip propensity in older people, particularly in those who walk slower in standard socks. GripSox® seem to provide comparable slip resistance as the barefoot condition and greater resistance than standard cotton socks. Based on these findings, barefoot or GripSox® may be a safer footwear option than standard cotton socks for older people walking indoors on potentially slippery surfaces.

Click here to read the full study....

 

We have also had many hospitals and nursing homes throughout Australia performing in-house trials looking at how GripSox® can be used as a falls prevention aid.

A clinical trial at John Fawkner Private Hospital (JFPH) in Melbourne showed a massive 73% reduction in patient falls.  The trial, which used our REDuce Falls Sox® as part of its High Falls Risk Management Protocol, reduced the hospital's falls rate from 7.15 falls per 1000 bed days down to 1.80 falls per 1000 bed days, well below the national average.  The huge success of this trial saw JFPH win the 2010 Healthscope Service Recognition Award for Quality Improvement.

GripSox® was proud to be involved in the clinical trial of the Ruby Red Socks falls prevention program run by St Vincents & Mercy Private Hospital in Melbourne.  This trial saw all high falls risk patients wearing our REDuce Falls Sox® to help reduce the number of falls in the hospital.  The pilot program resulted in a huge reduction in falls and subsequently saw theRuby Red Socks program being implemented throughout the entire Organisation. 

Click here for Ruby Red Socks trial results....

In 2010, St Andrew's Hospital in Toowoomba conducted a trial using our REDuce Falls Sox®.  Due to the huge success of this trial, the hospital will continue to use GripSox® as part of its falls prevention program.  Read more...

In March 2009 a trial commenced at Cairns Private Hospital.  This four month trial saw all post operative total hip and knee replacement patients wearing GripSox® over their compression stockings to see if the incidence of falls post operatively could be reduced.  In a fantastic result for GripSox®, the incidence of falls was reduced by a staggering 70% compared with the same four month period in 2008.  In real terms, there was a 100% success rate for GripSox®, as none of the patients recorded as falling during this trial period were wearing their GripSox® at the time of the fall.  This further highlights the importance of GripSox® as a falls prevention safety aid. See below for more Cairns Private Hospital trial results.

GripSox® were used in a multi-factorial clinical trial run by Waikato District Health Board, New Zealand between July-December 2009.  During this period, the total number of falls recorded halved in number.

In 2008, a trial run at The Friendly Society Private Hospital, Queensland saw GripSox® used in a multi-factorial study looking at falls prevention.  This trial saw the incidence of falls reduced by approximately 30%.

GripSox® are also currently being trialled at hospitals in Singapore and South Africa.

GripSox® is proud to be assisting all these Organisations in their bid to reduce the number of falls in hospitals and the general the community.

If you would like to be involved in further clinical trials, please email us.

 


 

LAUNDERING CLINICAL TRIALS

We have also completed an independent clinical trial looking at how well GripSox® withstand regular washing treatments, especially in a high temperature environment such as those required in hospitals and nursing homes for infection control.

The trial involved our GripSox® product being repeatedly washed and dryed in high temperature at least four times a day over a period of 30 days.

We were very pleased to see that this method of laundering did not result in any loss of the grip dots on the sole of the socks.

* Manufacturer testing of the socks at water temperatures up to 40 degrees celsius report that any sock shrinkage noticeable at "rest" will not effect the "stretched / wearing" length of the socks due to the elastane content in the socks. This may not be the same for higher laundering temperatures.

 


 

Cairns Private Hospital Orthopaedic Ward

GripSox™ Trial

Trial period: 16/03/09 to 12/07/09

Sample group: All patients admitted during the trial period for total joint replacement-this included 30 total hip replacements and 75 total knee replacements-total of 105 patients.

Aim of Trial: The aim of the trial was to reduce the incidence of falls in this patient population. All of these patients wear TED stockings post op and anecdotally the staff felt the number of falls was increasing following refurbishment of our rooms and a change to vinyl floor coverings.

Results: Total number of falls on Orthopaedics during the trial period was 6. This compared to a total of 20 falls for the corresponding period in 2008-a reduction of 70% (N.B. these figures are total falls for the period-I was unable to separate out stats for just joint replacements)

Other observations: The GripSox™ were easy to use and well tolerated by patients. The largest size seemed to work the best. Smaller sizes tended to slip off when patient was up walking. We applied the GripSox™ over the top of the TEDs as soon as the patients were mobile and encouraged the patients to leave them on throughout their stay in hospital. None of the patients who fell during the trial period had GripSox™ in place.

Conclusion: The use of GripSox™ significantly reduced the number of falls during the trial period. They were well tolerated by the patients and the staff are keen to continue to use them with our patients as an ongoing measure to reduce our falls risk.

Sue Forbes

Nurse Unit Manager – Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation
Trial Co-ordinator