Fall Prevention through Patient Education

Introduction
Old age has a remarkable association with chronic illnesses such as heart failure, diabetes, hypertension and cancers which result to frequent hospital admissions. During admission, elderly patients are at high risk of experiencing falls due to the medications they use, mental and physical instability. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the primary cause of injuries, deaths, and prolonged hospitalization among patients who 65 years or older. Approximately 3 million elderly patients fall every year and 800,000 are hospitalized due to falls. The United States of America spends close to $20billion annually to manage falls and its resultant outcomes. In today’s healthcare environment, there are limited financial resources, a rapid increase in the prevalence of chronic illnesses and an increasingly aging population. As a result, there has been the need to develop and implement evidence-based interventions to prevent falls in the geriatric population. Fall Prevention through Patient Education
Some of the fall prevention strategies that have been established from evidence-based research include: conducting a fall risk assessment, environment modification and withdrawal of medications that cause physical, mental or visual disturbance. However, the trends in the prevalence and incidences of falls in the geriatric population continue to remain high. This calls for further research to fill the existing gaps in knowledge on the interventions used to prevent falls and the goodwill to implement the evidence-based interventions by healthcare providers. Therefore, this paper details a literature review on the use of patient education to prevent falls among hospitalized geriatric patients. Fall Prevention through Patient Education

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“Avanecean D., Calliste D., Contreras T., Lim Y., & Fitzpatrick A.,(2017). Effectiveness of Patient-centered interventions on falls in the acute care setting compared to usual care: a systematic review. The Joanna Briggs Institute”
In a randomized controlled trial study that was conducted by Avanecean et al., (2017), the key purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions which are self-centered to prevent falls in acute care settings. The research question of this study was: Which patient-centered intervention strategies are effective for fall prevention in acute care settings? Adult patients who were admitted to surgical or medical acute care units with any illness or condition were included in the study. The findings from the study revealed that, interventions which are patient-centered alongside patient education are highly effective in reducing fall rates and incidences in acute care hospitals.
“Slade C S., Carey L.D., Hill A., & Morris E. M, (2017). Effects of falls prevention interventions on falls outcomes for hospitalized adults: protocol for a systematic review with meta-analysis. BMJ Open”
Slade, Carey, Hill, et. al., (2017) conducted a study with a key purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of interventions for fall prevention in adults who were hospitalized in acute care settings. The research question for this study was: What effects do fall prevention interventions have on the fall outcomes for adults admitted in hospitals? The study findings revealed that, fall prevention interventions reduce the risks of a patient falling by 90%. These methods include; conducting a fall risk assessment and instituting appropriate measures, modification of the environment and withdrawal of some medications. However, strategies which are patient-centered more so patient education are more effective in reducing the fall rates and fall risks of adult hospitalized patients.
“Hempel, S., Newberry, S., Wang, Z., Booth, M., Shanman, R., Johnsen, B., & Ganz, D. A. (2013). Hospital Fall Prevention: A Systematic Review of Implementation, Components, Adherence, and Effectiveness. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 61(4), 483–494”.
Hempel, Newberry, Wang, et al., (2013) conducted a study whose purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of approaches to fall prevention in United States acute care hospitals. The research question that guided this study was: Which approaches published for fall prevention in US acute care hospitals are effective? Based on the findings of this research, it was established that some of the most effective fall prevention strategies include: bed exit alarms, post fall evaluations, visual risk alerts and patient education. To ensure that these methods are highly effective, strategies such as education of staff, establishment of committees and support from a hospital’s leadership and continuous techniques for quality improvement are highly advised.
Conclusion
With the overwhelming effects that falls have on geriatric patients, close family, friends and the entire healthcare system, it is necessary for healthcare providers to adopt and implement evidence-based strategies for intervention. Although currently existing literature provides a wide range of patient-centered intervention strategies, patient education is the most effective in improving fall prevention in inpatient geriatric population. Fall Prevention through Patient Education

References
Avanecean D., Calliste D., Contreras T., Lim Y., & Fitzpatrick A.,(2017). Effectiveness of
Patient-centered interventions on falls in the acute care setting compared to usual care: a systematic review. The Joanna Briggs Institute.
CDC (2018).Important Facts about Falls. Available at
https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html. Accessed on 22/9/2018.
Hempel, S., Newberry, S., Wang, Z., Booth, M., Shanman, R., Johnsen, B., & Ganz, D. A.
(2013). Hospital Fall Prevention: A Systematic Review of Implementation, Components, Adherence, and Effectiveness. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 61(4), 483–494.
Slade C S., Carey L.D., Hill A., & Morris E. M, (2017). Effects of falls prevention interventions
on falls outcomes for hospitalized adults: protocol for a systematic review with meta-analysis. BMJ Open Fall Prevention through Patient Education.

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