Randomised controlled trial of multimedia patient education approaches to preventing in-hospital falls (2007–2009)
In hospital falls are one of the most frequently occurring adverse events in Australian hospitals. They are the cause of considerable patient morbidity, stress to family members and care givers, and health care resource use. However, there are many potential causes of in-hospital falls which has made minimising them a difficult task for hospitals around the country. Recent evidence has indicated that a patient intervention strategy is useful for preventing in-hospital falls as a part of a multi-factorial falls prevention program. This research aims to investigate the effectiveness and economic benefit of two approaches to providing patient education for the prevention of in-hospital falls. Patients at high risk for falls will be recruited from the Princess Alexandra Hospital and be randomly allocated to either a DVD + 4 sessions of face-to-face education with an occupational therapist program, to a DVD alone education program, or to a usual care with no additional education control condition. Patients will be followed up until their discharge from hospital and the number of in-hospital falls they incur will be compared between groups. It is expected that both the DVD + 4 sessions of face-to-face education with an occupational therapist program, to a DVD alone education program will be effective in reducing falls and that the DVD alone education program will demonstrate the greater cost-effectiveness in reducing falls. Stemming from this research, it is anticipated that a cost-effective resource for preventing in-hospital falls will be developed and evaluated such that it can be used in hospitals Australia wide.