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Title: Feasibility of implementing a practice guideline for fall prevention on geriatric wards: A multicentre study
Authors: Milisen, Koen ×
Coussement, Joke
Arnout, Hanne
Vanlerberghe, Virginie
De Paepe, Leen
Schoevaerdts, Didier
Lambert, Margareta
Van Den Noortgate, Nele
Delbaere, Kim
Boonen, Steven
Dejaeger, Eddy #
Issue Date: Apr-2013
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Series Title: International journal of nursing studies vol:50 issue:4 pages:495-507
Article number: S0020-7489(12)00331-8
Abstract: BACKGROUND: About 40% of all adverse events in hospital are falls, but only about one in three Belgian hospitals have a fall prevention policy in place. The implementation of a national practice guideline is urgently needed. OBJECTIVE AND DESIGN: This multicentre study aimed to determine the feasibility of a previously developed guideline. SETTING, PARTICIPANTS AND METHOD: Seventeen geriatric wards, selected at random out of 40 Belgian hospitals who agreed to take part in the study, evaluated the fall prevention guideline. After the one-month test period, 49 healthcare workers completed a questionnaire on the feasibility of the guideline. RESULTS: At the end of the study, 512 geriatric patients had been assessed using the practice guideline. The average time spent per patient on case finding, multifactorial assessment and initiating a treatment plan was 5.1, 76.1 and 30.6min, respectively. For most risk assessments and risk modifications, several disciplines considered themselves as being responsible and capable. The majority (more than 69%) of the respondents judged the practice guideline as useful, but only a small majority (62.3%) believed that the guideline could be successfully integrated into their daily practice over a longer period of time. Barriers for implementation included a large time investment (81.1%), lack of communication between the different disciplines (35.8%), lack of motivation of the patient (34.0%), lack of multidisciplinary teamwork (28.3%), and lack of interest from the hospital management (15.4%). CONCLUSION: Overall, the guideline was found useful, and for each risk factor (except for visual impairment), at least one discipline felt responsible and capable. Towards future implementation of the guideline, following steps should be considered: division of the risk-factor assessment duties and interventions among different healthcare workers; patient education; appointment of a fall prevention coordinator; development of a fall prevention policy with support from the management of the hospital.
ISSN: 0020-7489
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Academic Centre for Nursing and Midwifery
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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