Healthcare professional perspectives on barriers and enablers to falls prevention education: A qualitative study

Hazel Heng, Debra Kiegaldie, Susan C. Slade, Dana Jazayeri, Louise Shaw, Matthew Knight, Cathy Jones, Anne-Marie Hill, Meg E. Morris

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In hospitals, patient falls prevention education is frequently delivered by nurses and allied health professionals. Hospital falls rates remain high globally, despite the many systems and approaches that attempt to mitigate falling. The aim of this study was to investigate health professional views on the enablers and barriers to providing patient falls education in hospitals. Four focus groups with 23 nursing and allied health professionals were conducted at 3 hospitals. Three researchers independently coded the data and findings were analysed thematically with a descriptive qualitative approach to identify and develop themes according to barriers and enablers. Barriers included (i) limited interprofessional communication about patient falls; (ii) sub-optimal systems for falls education for patients and health professionals, and (iii) perceived patient-related barriers to falls education. Enablers to providing patient falls education included: (i) implementing strategies to increase patient empowerment; (ii) ensuring that health professionals had access to effective modes of patient education; and (iii) facilitating interprofessional collaboration. Health professionals identified the need to overcome organisational, patient and clinician-related barriers to falls education. Fostering collective responsibility amongst health professionals for evidence-based falls prevention was also highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0266797
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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