Evidence-Based Fall Prevention in the Elderly

Table of Contents

Fall prevention is a critical topic in the framework of healthcare because it is a considerable challenge that exists in this sphere and often leads to nonfatal injuries among the elderly population over 65 years old (Preventing falls in hospitals, 2014). This issue becomes more critical when paying attention to those individuals who are over 75 because they are more vulnerable than those who are younger. Many of them die after unintentional falls, and this number tends to increase with the course of time which proves that healthcare facilities are still not efficient enough to ensure safety of the environment. However, they are not the only ones to blame.

Very often patients fail to realize the fact that they are at risk of injury caused by a fall, which makes them behave indiscreetly. In order to prevent patient falls, professionals implement a range of changes that influence environment and procedures conducted by nurses. Still, considering patient’s involvement in this issue, it is also significant to discuss fall risks from their point of view. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to present a proposal for an evidence-based practice (EBP) project concerning fall prevention practices that can be utilized during hospital stay and the way patients with age-sensitive changes perceive them.

Background

The majority of individuals over 65 years old often receive injuries because of accidental falls. In particular, more than 30% of this population falls unintentionally every year. What is more critical, such situations entail pain, loss of self-confidence and even death (NICE, 2013). Only in 2013, more than 25,000 patients died while being in healthcare and community facilities in the USA (Quigley, 2015). Realizing the existence of this problem, the American Nurses Association defined patient falls as a nurse indicator in 1995 and started developing strategies that can be used to improve the situation (Quigley, 2015).

As it turned out, it is not enough to work with healthcare professionals, underlying the necessity to focus on the environment, behavior or physiotherapy, because patients’ understanding and involvement also has a substantial influence on the outcome (Sherrington & Tiedemann, 2015). To improve the situation, they need to realize their fall risk, accept the needed treatment, and participate in training and educational programs (Knott, 2014). This way, patients are likely to become more conscious of their health and the way it can be preserved.

Clinical Significance

It is significant for the healthcare professionals to discuss patient fall risks during the hospital stay and their perception by the elderly because this issue has an enormous influence on the quality of patient care and health outcomes. Being in a healthcare facility, patients’ health condition is expected to improve. However, falls can prevent them from reaching this goal. Falls prevention is a part of patient care maintained by nurses. They are to ensure comfortable and safe environment and provide all the needed support, treatment, training and education. Fall reduction proves that the quality of services is being improved. Perceiving their fall risks, the elderly become more likely to cooperate with nurses, which makes it easier for professionals to ensure positive health outcomes.

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find out how patients with age-sensitive changes perceive their fall risks during a hospital stay. Thus, the aspects of this EBP project in PICOT format include:

  • Population – patients;
  • Interest – age-specific changes;
  • Control – other patient populations (no direct reference);
  • Outcome – fall risk perception;
  • Timeline – the hospital stay.

References

Knott, L. (2014). Web.

NICE. (2013). Web.

(2014). Web.

Quigley, P. (2015). We’ve made gains in preventing falls, but more work remains. American Nurse Today, 10(7), 28-39.

Sherrington, C., & Tiedemann, A. (2015). Physiotherapy in the prevention of falls in older people. Journal of Physiotherapy, 61(1), 54-60.

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