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Interventions to Prevent Falls in Older Adults

People have different explanations of why they fall, including their age, poor vision, bone conditions, or inattentiveness. When a patient is older than 65 years, the list of reasons is considerably enlarged, and much attention should be paid to fall prevention strategies. In this paper, the goal is to create a PICOT question and explain the worth of fall prevention in older adults. Do patients aged 65 or older who are at risk of falls and live either alone or with caregivers (P) benefit from a specific education program that includes weekly meetings for patients and caregivers (I) compared to patients who undergo standard fall prevention interventions (C) in their intentions to reduce falls (O) in one year (T)? Each element of this question, including a purpose statement and a problem statement, will be discussed and supported with evidence.

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Population

There are many grounds to choose older adults as the population for this research. According to Bergen, Stevens, and Burns (2016), about 29% of older adults report falling annually, which includes 27,000 deaths and 2.8 million treatment cases in emergency departments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017) continues investigating and supporting this vulnerable group of population because of a variety of outcomes, symptoms, and available interventions. This project can become a practice improvement effort for the chosen group of people due to the inability to clarify why risks and deaths cannot be predicted and reduced despite the existing interventions and programs.

Intervention

At this moment, people who are at risk of falls have access to multiple interventions and programs. These opportunities include exercises, vitamin supplementation, environment modifications, education, and medication management (Guirguis-Blake, Michael, Perdue, Coppola, & Beil, 2018). Educational interventions are not frequent, but some researchers discuss their worth and prove their urgency to reduce the number of falls (Ott, 2018). In this case, education for patients and caregivers at the same time turns out to be a unique opportunity to prepare the population for improvements and begin with basics that cannot be ignored.

Comparison

The presence of a comparison group is an obligation that helps to identify and understand the effectiveness of the intervention. On the one hand, there will be people who follow the standards of prevention programs, including exercises, medication, and vita signs’ control (Guirguis-Blake et al., 2018). On the other hand, the education of caregivers and patients is not a frequent option that requires time, effort, and space to be implemented (Ott, 2018). The comparison information should include the changes in fall rates in patients aged 65 or older.

Outcome

The major outcome of this project is to understand if fall reduction is possible if patients and caregivers are regularly educated. The results by Ott (2018) showed that educational sessions are of significant benefit for older adult patients. Still, the findings by Guirguis-Blake et al. (2018) also indicated the possibility of fall reduction if standard fall prevention interventions are followed. A quasi-experimental research design will include official records and opinions of participants about the program and their abilities to predict falls.

Timeline

It is hard to predict the most effective time limits for this kind of project. Several weeks are usually not enough to make sure the intervention works effectively, and years of education may be exhausting for participants (Guirguis-Blake et al., 2018). It is expected to spend one year to gather information and analyze the results in this case. During the first half of the year, the participants should visit weekly classes and improve their knowledge about fall prevention and control. In the next half of the year, they will follow nurses’ instructions and apply their knowledge to practice, using recent research and studies (Bergen et al., 2016). In one year, the comparison of the results before and after the intervention will occur.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this project is to introduce a new intervention that includes an education session for patients and their caregivers. To prove its effectiveness, this idea will be compared with some other types of fall prevention strategies (Guirguis-Blake et al., 2018). People who fall even without injuries may be characterized by serious mental health outcomes like fears of falling (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Therefore, the focus is to educate the participants not only to prevent but never be afraid of falls.

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Problem Statement

The major problem that can be raised in this project is the number of people who suffer from falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), 3 million older adults address emergency departments because of falls. People have to know how to protect themselves, but even the most famous investigations maybe not enough to cover the needs of all the people around the world. The problem of the lack of or poor education has to be solved, and this project is one of the first steps to find a solution.

Conclusion

Fall prevention is a serious topic for discussion in different countries. Some people know how to predict falls but fail to share their knowledge, and many people are ready to spend money and time but cannot find a credible and effective source of information. This project is based on the PICOT question where educational sessions are compared to traditional forms of fall prevention in terms of reducing falls in older adult patients.

References

Bergen, G., Stevens, M. R., & Burns, E. R. (2016). Falls and fall injuries among adults aged ≥ 65 years – the United States, 2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 65(37), 993-998.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Important facts about falls. Web.

Guirguis-Blake, J. M., Michael, Y. L., Perdue, L. A., Coppola, E. L., & Beil, T. L. (2018). Interventions to prevent falls in older adults: Updated evidence report and systematic review for the US preventive services task force. JAMA, 319(6), 1705-1716.

Ott, L. D. (2018). The impact of implementing a fall prevention educational session for community-dwelling physical therapy patients. Nursing Open, 5(4), 567-574.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Interventions to Prevent Falls in Older Adults." August 14, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/interventions-to-prevent-falls-in-older-adults/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Interventions to Prevent Falls in Older Adults'. 14 August.

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