They will tell me if there is a problem: Limited discussion between health professionals, older adults and their caregivers on falls prevention during and after hospitalization

  • Lee D
  • McDermott F
  • Hoffmann T
 et al. 
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Abstract

The objectives of this study were to describe the sources of falls prevention information provided to older adults during and after hospitalization, identify and explore reasons why discussion about falls prevention may not take place. Six participant groups were interviewed using semi-structured interviews or focus groups: (i) older patients (n = 16); (ii) caregivers (n = 8); (iii) allied health and nursing professionals (n = 33); (iv) doctors from acute wards (n = 8); (v) doctors from subacute wards (n = 10) and (vi) general practitioners (n = 9). Participants were recruited from three Australian hospitals that provided acute and subacute in-patient services to the older adults. General practitioners were recruited from the community of Melbourne. Findings showed provision of falls prevention information was dependent on setting of the ward and which health professionals the older adult encountered during and after hospitalization. Medical practitioners were reactive in providing information, whereas older adults and their caregivers were passive in seeking falls prevention information. Several barriers in information provision and information seeking were identified. There is great potential to improve the consistency of falls prevention information provision to older adults during hospitalization and in preparation for discharge to assist with prevention of falls in this high risk period.

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