Educators’ perspectives about how older hospital patients can engage in a falls prevention education programme: A qualitative process evaluation

Hill, Anne-Marie, McPhail, Steven M., Francis-Coad, Jacqueline, Waldron, Nicholas, Etherton-Beer, Christopher, Flicker, Leon, Ingram, Katharine, & Haines, Terry P. (2015) Educators’ perspectives about how older hospital patients can engage in a falls prevention education programme: A qualitative process evaluation. BMJ Open, 5, Article number-e009780.

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  • Falls are the most frequent adverse event reported in hospitals. Patient and staff education delivered by trained educators significantly reduced falls and injurious falls in an older rehabilitation population. The purpose of the study was to explore the educators’ perspectives of delivering the education and to conceptualise how the programme worked to prevent falls among older patients who received the education.


  • A qualitative exploratory study.


  • Data were gathered from three sources: conducting a focus group and an interview (n=10 educators), written educator notes and reflective researcher field notes based on interactions with the educators during the primary study. The educators delivered the programme on eight rehabilitation wards for periods of between 10 and 40 weeks. They provided older patients with individualised education to engage in falls prevention and provided staff with education to support patient actions. Data were thematically analysed and presented using a conceptual framework.


  • Falls prevention education led to mutual understanding between staff and patients which assisted patients to engage in falls prevention behaviours. Mutual understanding was derived from the following observations: the educators perceived that they could facilitate an effective three-way interaction between staff actions, patient actions and the ward environment which led to behaviour change on the wards. This included engaging with staff and patients, and assisting them to reconcile differing perspectives about falls prevention behaviours.


  • Individualised falls prevention education effectively provides patients who receive it with the capability and motivation to develop and undertake behavioural strategies that reduce their falls, if supported by staff and the ward environment.

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ID Code: 92684
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009780
ISSN: 2044-6055
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: 2015 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2016 00:50
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 00:50

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