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Title: Preparing patients at high risk of falls for discharge home after rehabilitation: Do we meet the guidelines?
Austin Authors: Said, Catherine M ;Batchelor, Frances;Shaw, Kathryn;Blennerhassett, Jannette
Affiliation: Physiotherapy Department, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Physiotherapy, Melbourne University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: May-2016
Date: 2015-05-15
Publication information: Geriatrics & Gerontology International 2016; 16(5):570-576
Abstract: Aim: To determine whether rehabilitation inpatients at high risk of falls receive adequate falls risk assessment, management and handover on discharge as per Australian Best Practice Guidelines. Methods: Medical records of 121 people who received inpatient rehabilitation were retrospectively screened; records of 50 people discharged home and at high falls risk (fall in last 12 months, fall preceding/during admission) were audited. Data extracted included falls risk identification during rehabilitation and in discharge documentation; falls risk factors assessed; and fall prevention strategies implemented. Results: Discharge documentation correctly identified falls risk for just nine of the 50 people. Patients at high falls risk had a median of 8.0 (interquartile range 6–10) of 17 risk factors. There was limited evidence of assessment for osteoporosis (n = 8), footwear (n = 4) and visual assessment in the previous 2 years (n = 1). Patients received a median of 6.5 (interquartile range 5–9) out of 16 possible strategies. Common strategies were mobility (n = 48), strength (n = 44) and Personal Activity of Daily Living training (n = 43). For 12 risk factors, if the factor was present, there was evidence of a strategy in more than 80% of records. Conclusions: There was little evidence that people at high risk of falls received systematic falls risk assessment during rehabilitation. When a risk was identified, generally a strategy was implemented. However, failure to assess some risk factors might have limited fall prevention strategies offered. Failure to adequately address risks during hospitalization could contribute to falls post-discharge.
Journal: Geriatrics & Gerontology International
PubMed URL:
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Accidental falls
Guideline adherence
Clinical audit
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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