Why do hospitalized older adults take risks that may lead to falls?

Haines, Terry P., Lee, Den-Ching Angel, O'Connell, Beverly, McDermott, Fiona and Hoffmann, Tammy (2015) Why do hospitalized older adults take risks that may lead to falls?. Health Expectations, 18 2: 233-249. doi:10.1111/hex.12026

Author Haines, Terry P.
Lee, Den-Ching Angel
O'Connell, Beverly
McDermott, Fiona
Hoffmann, Tammy
Title Why do hospitalized older adults take risks that may lead to falls?
Journal name Health Expectations   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1369-7625
Publication date 2015-04-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/hex.12026
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 18
Issue 2
Start page 233
End page 249
Total pages 17
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The behaviour of hospitalized older adults can contribute to falls, a common adverse event during and after hospitalization.

To understand why older adults take risks that may lead to falls in the hospital setting and in the transition period following discharge home.

Qualitative research.

Setting and participants
Hospital patients from inpatient medical and rehabilitation wards (n = 16), their informal caregivers (n = 8), and health professionals (n = 33) recruited from Southern Health hospital facilities, Victoria, Australia.

Main variables studied
Perceived motivations for, and factors contributing to risk taking that may lead to falls.

Main outcome measures
Semi-structured, in depth interviews and focus groups were used to generate qualitative data. Interviews were conducted both 2 weeks post-hospitalization and 3 months post-hospitalization.

Risk taking was classified as; (i) enforced (ii) voluntary and informed and (iii) voluntary and mal informed. Five key factors that influence risk taking behaviour were (i) risk compensation ability of the older adult, (ii) willingness to ask for help, (iii) older adult desire to test their physical boundaries, (iv) communication failure between and within older adults, informal care givers and health professionals and (v) delayed provision of help.

Discussion and Conclusion
Tension exists between taking risks as a part of rehabilitation and the effect it has on likelihood of falling. Health professionals and caregivers played a central role in mitigating unnecessary risk taking, though some older adults appear more likely to take risks than others by virtue of their attitudes.
Keyword Behaviour
Older adult
Risk taking
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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