Implementing Patient Falls Education in Hospitals: A Mixed-Methods Trial

Hazel Heng, Debra Kiegaldie, Louise Shaw, Dana Jazayeri, Anne Marie Hill, Meg E. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Patient education is key to preventing hospital falls yet is inconsistently implemented by health professionals. A mixed methods study was conducted involving a ward-based evaluation of patients receiving education from health professionals using a scripted conversation guide with a falls prevention brochure, followed by semi-structured qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of health professionals involved in delivering the intervention. Over five weeks, 37 patients consented to surveys (intervention n = 27; control n = 10). The quantitative evaluation showed that falls prevention education was not systematically implemented in the trial ward. Seven individual interviews were conducted with health professionals to understand the reasons why implementation failed. Perceived barriers included time constraints, limited interprofessional collaboration, and a lack of staff input into designing the research project and patient interventions. Perceived enablers included support from senior staff, consistent reinforcement of falls education by health professionals, and fostering patient empowerment and engagement. Recommended strategies to enhance implementation included ensuring processes were in place supporting health professional accountability, the inclusion of stakeholder input in designing the falls intervention and implementation processes, as well as leadership engagement in falls prevention education. Although health professionals play a key role in delivering evidence-based falls prevention education in hospitals, implementation can be compromised by staff capacity, capability, and opportunities for co-design with patients and researchers. Organisational buy-in to practice change facilitates the implementation of evidence-based falls prevention activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1298
Number of pages13
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • accidental falls
  • falls
  • falls prevention
  • healthcare
  • hospital
  • injury prevention
  • patient education

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