Educating health professionals to implement evidence-based falls screening in hospitals

L. Shaw, D. Kiegaldie, M. E. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: International evidence-based guidelines advise traditional Falls Risk Assessment Tools (FRATs) should not be routinely used to predict the risk of a patient falling in hospital. However, disinvestment from existing services can be challenging. This study applied evidence-based approaches to education design to implement best practice guidelines. Design: Mixed methods using questionnaires to evaluate health professionals' knowledge of evidence-based falls risk assessment and mitigation, followed by semi-structured interviews with individual health professionals. Setting: Five Australian hospitals. Participants: There were two cohorts per hospital; Cohort 1 (C1) comprised 10 clinical leaders from nursing and allied health professions. Cohort 2 (C2) included clinicians involved in routine hospital falls screening and prevention. Methods: 46 clinical leaders received a 3-h high quality education workshop on the latest evidence in hospital falls risk assessment and how to implement a new falls screening and management tool. They were also taught the practical skills to deliver a 1-h education session to C2 (n = 129). Results: The education workshop significantly changed C1's views about evidence-based guidelines for falls screening and prevention. C1 were significantly more likely than C2 to feel confident in assessing falls risk and judging and implementing the best mitigation strategies. After the workshop, C1 were prepared and motivated to educate others on falls prevention and were satisfied with the skills gained. Six months after the workshop, C1 reported feeling more prepared for preventing falls. Conclusion: Health professionals benefitted from an interactive education workshop on how to use a new evidence-based hospital falls screening tool to help mitigate risk. An abridged version of the workshop did not result in long lasting effects. Education is an important element aiding disinvestment from non-evidence-based services, and implementation of clinical guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104874
Number of pages8
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Education
  • Evidence-based
  • Falls
  • Falls prevention
  • Health professionals
  • Hospital
  • Nursing
  • Physiotherapy

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