Carers' concerns about their older persons (Carees) at risk of falling - A mixed-methods study protocol

Seng Giap Marcus Ang, Anthony Paul O'Brien, Amanda Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: When dependent older persons (carees) experience a fall at home, their carers worry that they will fall again. This ongoing concern affects the carers' wellbeing, perception of burden and can potentially change care arrangements. Previous research has focused on carers of high fall risk older persons with stroke, dementia or Parkinson's disease. However, little is known about the carers' concerns for carees at risk of falling generally; and there is no validated instrument to measure this concern. This study aims to explore carers' fall concern about carees at risk of falling and the development of an instrument to measure this concern. Methods: This study utilises an exploratory sequential design in the development of an instrument to measure carers' concerns. Phase One will explore carers' fall concern using a descriptive qualitative approach. Phases Two and Three will involve expert review, pilot testing and field testing of the instrument. Twenty participants will be recruited by purposive sampling in phase one, and convenience sampling of 50 and 250 participants respectively, in Phases Two and Three. The participants will be recruited from research volunteer registers and local hospital outpatient clinics. Participants will be 18 years old and older and the main carer of an older person. Participants will be interviewed about their concerns about falls. Inductive content analysis will be used to analyse interviews and develop items for the instrument. The psychometric properties of the raw instrument will be tested using an online survey. This study has received ethics approval from the Hunter New England Human Health Research Ethics Committee. Discussion: This study aims to provide greater depth of understanding about the psychological concerns and emotional burden related to carees' falls for carers. Quantifying carers' concerns will provide a context for interventions to assist and support carers and in the greater vigilance of monitoring the falling incidence of carees.

Original languageEnglish
Article number819
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Carer
  • Fall concern
  • Fall risk
  • Fear of falling
  • Mixed methods
  • Older person

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