Threat appraisal for harm from falls: Insights for development of education-based intervention

Haines, Terry P. & McPhail, Steven (2011) Threat appraisal for harm from falls: Insights for development of education-based intervention. Open Longevity Science, 5, pp. 9-15.

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Objective: This study aims to describe how patients perceive the threat of falls in hospitals, to identify patient characteristics that are associated with greater or lesser perceptions of the threat of falls, and to examine whether there is a discord between the risk that patients perceive in general and the risk that they perceive for themselves personally.

Method: A cross-sectional survey amongst geriatric rehabilitation inpatients in Brisbane, Australia, was implemented. The first component of the survey dealt with the ‘general’ nature of in-hospital falls and falls related risks while the second component of the survey was directed at identifying whether the patient held the same belief for themselves.

Results: A total of 21 out of 125 participants (17%) indicated that they felt that they were at risk of falling during their hospitalisation and 28 (22%) felt that they would injure themselves if they were to fall. Self-perceived risk of falls was associated with decreasing age and lower cognitive function (Functional Independence Measure Cognitive score). A majority of patients felt that falls most commonly occur in the bathroom [n=67 (54%)] and that if they were to fall, they would fall in the bathroom [n=56 (45%)].

Discussion: Patients generally do not think they are at risk of falling while in hospital and this may contribute to poor adherence to falls prevention strategies. It is possible that raising patient perception of the risk of falls and injury from falls in hospitals may help improve adherence to falls prevention strategies in this setting.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 52327
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Falls, Hospital, Education
ISSN: 1876-326X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 19 Jul 2012 06:29
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2014 03:55

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