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Journal Article


Twibell RS, Siela D, Sproat T, Coers G. Am. J. Crit. Care 2015; 24(5): e78-85.


Renee Samples Twibell is an associate professor, School of Nursing, Ball State University, and a nurse researcher, Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie, Indiana. Debra Siela is an associate professor, School of Nursing, Ball State University. Terrie Sproat is a case manager and Gena Coers is a direct care nurse in perioperative services, Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital.


(Copyright © 2015, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses)






BACKGROUND: Prevention of falls during hospitalization depends in part on the behaviors of alert patients to prevent falls. Research on acutely ill patients' intentions to behave in ways that help prevent falls and on the patients' perceptions related to falls is limited.

OBJECTIVE: To explore hospitalized adults' perceptions related to risk for falling, fear of falling, expectations of outcomes of falling, and intention to engage in behaviors to prevent falls.

METHODS: Adult, alert, acutely ill inpatients (N = 158) at risk for falling completed a survey consisting of 4 scales and 3 single items. Nurses' assessments and patients' perceptions of the risk for falling were compared.

RESULTS: Decreased intentions to engage in behaviors to prevent falls were correlated with patients' increased confidence in their ability to perform high-risk behaviors without help and without falling (P <.001), decreased fear of falling (P <.001), and decreased perceived likelihood of adverse outcomes if they did fall (P <.001). Although nurses' assessments indicated a risk for falls, 55.1% of the patients did not perceive a high likelihood of falling while hospitalized. Whereas 75% of patients intended to ask for help before getting out of bed, 48% were confident that they could get out of bed without help and without falling.

CONCLUSIONS: Although assessments may indicate a risk for falling, acutely ill inpatients may not perceive they are likely to fall. Patients' intentions to engage in behaviors to prevent falls vary with the patients' fall-related perceptions of confidence, outcomes, and fear related to falling.

Language: en


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