Community care staff attitudes towards delivering a falls prevention exercise intervention to community care clients

Elissa Burton, Eileen J. Boyle, Hilary O'Connell, Gill Lewin, Mark Petrich, Keith D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Millions of older people world-wide receive community care services in their home to assist them to live independently. These services often include personal care, domestic assistance and social support which are delivered by non-university trained staff, and are frequently long term. Older people receiving community care services fall 50% more often than individuals of similar age not receiving services. Yet, few ongoing community care services include exercise programs to reduce falls in this population. We conducted an earlier study to examine the feasibility of community care staff delivering a falls prevention program. A critical finding was that while some of the assessment and support staff responsible for service delivery delivered the falls prevention exercise program to one or two clients, others delivered to none. Therefore, the aim of this qualitative sub-study was to understand reasons for this variation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 participating support staff and assessors from 10 community care organisations. Staff who had successfully delivered the intervention to their clients perceived themselves as capable and that it would benefit their clients. Older clients who were positive, motivated and wanted to improve were perceived to be more likely to participate. Staff who had worked at their organisation for at least 5 years were also more likely to deliver the program compared to those that had only worked up to 2 years. Staff that did not deliver the intervention to anyone were more risk averse, did not feel confident enough to deliver the program and perceived their clients as not suitable due to age and frailty. Experienced staff who are confident and have positive ageing attitudes are most likely to deliver falls prevention programs in a home care organisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-424
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • falls
  • home care
  • motivation
  • older people
  • qualitative
  • staff perceptions

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