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The Perceptions and Rehabilitation Experience of Older People After Falling in the Hospital

Turner, Nicholas, PhD1; Jones, Diana, PhD2; Dawson, Pamela, PhD2; Tait, Barbara, MPhil3

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000107

Purpose Falls are a major cause of disability and mortality due to injury. To reduce fall rates and improve health outcomes, it is important to design services based on patient experience and engagement. This study aimed to explore the experiences of older patients who fell during their hospital stay.

Design Five patients from two rehabilitation wards in the United Kingdom participated in this qualitative study.

Methods Semistructured interviews, incident reports, and medical records provided information about each fall. Thematic, discourse, and descriptive analysis were used to analyze data.

Findings The data demonstrated how a fall impacted patients’ experience of rehabilitation and resulted in changes to mobility, self-confidence, management of falls risk, avoidance of daily activities, and increased assistance from others.

Conclusions Falling in hospital can influence patients’ ability to reach their potential of an optimal level of functioning.

Clinical Relevance There is a need to place an equal and mutual understanding on the physical, psychological, and social impact of falling to reduce falls and improve functional outcomes.

1 Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead, UK

2 Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

3 Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Correspondence: Nicholas Turner, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead, UK. E-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Cite this article as: Turner, N., Jones, D., Dawson, P., & Tait, B. (2019). The perceptions and rehabilitation experience of older people after falling in hospital. Rehabilitation Nursing, 44(3), 141–150. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000107

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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