Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Nursing home falls are significantly reduced by intervention
© iStock / Dean Mitchell

A large study of nursing homes in the UK has found that a coordinated approach to fall prevention in nursing homes can reduce the number of times residents fall.

Falls in Care Homes Study (FinCH) var led by Professor Pip Logan and experts from the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care Research. It tested a new approach called Guide to Action to Prevent Fall in Nursing Homes (GtACH) program, designed by a collaborative group, including staff and families.

The study, published today in the BMJ, was conducted across 84 nursing homes in 11 different areas of England and included over 1,600 residents over three years.

Reduces falls in nursing homes by more than 43%

Researchers found that the GtACH program reduced the fall rate by more than 43% compared to residents who did not receive the intervention. They learned that there was no negative impact on the mobility or independence of the residents. In addition, it is within the cost thresholds set by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence for treatments.

Falls are common in people living in nursing homes with a high risk of injury, hospitalizations and are therefore expensive for health systems. Although fall prevention interventions are effective in other contexts, previous systematic reviews indicated that the benefits were uncertain among residents.

Professor Pip Logan from the Center for Rehabilitation and Aging Research was the lead author. She said: “The fall prevention program significantly reduces the chance of overturning for people living in nursing homes and it is cost effective. This research is the largest study conducted in the UK with the team including academics, nursing home residents, families, nursing home staff, social care and NHS staff, a truly interdisciplinary UK experiment. “

The GtACH program

Experts at Nottingham University developed the GtACH program in collaboration with nursing home staff and residents to develop a set of guidelines in the form of a 33-point checklist with a list of 33 related actions that nursing home staff can use to reduce the risk of falls. among their inhabitants.

The program includes one hour of training for staff in small groups, provided by an autumn specialist. A manual summarizing the GtACH program is left at home after training and includes resources such as a chart of fall events (to detect patterns) and a chart of medication fall risk. Once fully trained, staff can use the GtACH Risk Assessment and Guide to Action with All Residents.

For example, the assessment highlights that a resident is dehydrated, so it is recommended to increase the amount of fluid. Overall, education and resources increase awareness and knowledge about coping with falls.

Victoria Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum, said: “Fall prevention is one of the key priorities in all nursing homes. This research will support managers and staff in working with people receiving care and support to minimize the risk of fall while continuing to prioritize activity and independence.The timing of this could not be better as it coincides with the publication of the Government White Paper on the reform of social care for adults, People at the heart of care. The White Paper incorporates a strong focus on reducing falls, and this research will ensure that care providers can have immediate access to support this goal by using resources produced through research conducted in partnership with nursing home managers. “

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