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Major UK study to look into preventing falls in older people

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University of Portsmouth researchers are to study the best ways of preventing falls in older people.

The two-year study, which has received almost £60,000 from the National Osteoporosis Society, will focus on the psychological effects on patients in hospitals and care homes who are given advice and aids to help prevent falls, such as using handrails and walking aids.

The researchers will assess what patients and carers think about the advice, and the practical measures recommended for preventing falls, and determine where improvements can be made.

Lead researcher Julie Udell, from the university’s school of health sciences and social work, said: ‘Some people who are vulnerable to falling over may not think that the advice they are given is relevant to them. They may not accept that they are at risk, or they believe that making changes will affect their lifestyle, so they may choose to ignore the advice.

‘We will assess people’s perceptions of their level of risk and their acceptance of what can be done to reduce that risk,’ she added.

The results of the study will be used to help formulate new guidelines for healthcare professionals to improve the quality of patient care, and the advice and treatment patients receive to prevent a fall.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • My background is over 30years nursing on acute care of the elderly ward where all patients were assessed for fall on admission these were updated weekly or following a fall. Unforunately it did not always prevent the patient falling. I have recently been appointed osteoporosis nurse specailist at midyorks nhs trust.one of my roles will be ensuring all patiets have a falls assessment on admission.also auditing how often these are reviewed on the wards.thus ensuring better patient safety.

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