The purpose of the literature review is to provide a synthesis of recent scholarly studies focused on the identified research problem. Since the research question is concerned with the potential of various educational programs to reduce the incidence of patient falls, the review of literature will revolve around this topic. The analysis of pertinent scholarly articles indicates that the stated hypothesis is likely to be confirmed.
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The most typical directions of modern scholars in the dimension of patient fall prevention include exercises, gait balance training, and behavioral modifications. Articles by Canning et al. (2014b) and Gawler et al. (2016) dwell on the issue of exercise interventions for elderly patients prone to falling. Both of the studies emphasize the significance of regular exercising for elderly patients with a high risk of falls. However, the findings of the two articles open up different perspectives on the problem. Specifically, Gawler et al. (2016) have found that home- and group-based exercises can decrease patient falls by 42%. Meanwhile, Canning et al. (2014b), whose study is based on Parkinson’s disease patients, report that exercise intervention does not lead to a statistically significant change in patient fall ratio. However, both analyses agree that regular exercising can improve patients’ physical and psychological health.
Training on gait balance has also received sufficient attention from scholars. Hsieh et al. (2014) and Moncada and Mire (2017) investigate the importance of such interventions for elderly patients. Hsieh et al. (2014) suggest using a Kinect-based virtual reality system for promoting patients’ balance maintenance and reducing falls. The authors note that a statistically significant change has been reached with the use of such an intervention. Therefore, Hsieh et al. (2014) consider the use of virtual reality tools as a beneficial approach to eliminate patient falls. Meanwhile, Moncada and Mire (2017) also emphasize the need to support elderly people’s balance to reduce the likelihood of falls. However, the scholars remark that the application of only one method is not enough to gain the most beneficial outcomes. Hence, it is suggested that a multifactorial intervention including balance exercises, gait training, hypotension management, and other crucial factors should be introduced.
Finally, it is necessary to discuss the attention of scholars to behavioral modifications needed for elderly patients prone to falling. Canning, Paul, and Nieuwboer (2014a), Kim et al. (2015), and Moncada and Mire (2017) focus on this issue in their research studies. Canning et al. (2014a) note that behavioral interventions have the potential to increase patients’ physical activity. Kim et al. (2015) also find the behavioral approach rather productive in this respect. The scholars report that behavioral interventions help elderly patients to adjust to educational programs and make the necessary changes to the environment. Additionally, Kim et al. (2015) have found that behavioral learning helps to decrease patient falls. Moncada and Mire (2017) support the idea defended in Kim et al.’s (2015) study and state that behavioral modifications are highly advantageous for elderly people with a high risk of falls. Thus, all three articles support the idea of behavioral changes’ usefulness for such patients.
A review of relevant literature on the research topic allowed identifying several trends in scholars’ views on patient fall prevention. All of the studies under analysis consider it beneficial to implement behavioral changes and encourage patients to exercise to reduce the likelihood of falling. However, since some findings are contradictory, it is necessary to continue research in this field to obtain the most reliable results.
Canning, C. G., Paul, S. S., & Nieuwboer, A. (2014a). Prevention of falls in Parkinson’s disease: A review of fall risk factors and the role of physical interventions. Neurodegenerative Disease Management, 4(3), 203-221.
Canning, C. G., Sherrington, C., Lord, S. R., Close, J. C. T., Heritier, S., Heller, G. Z., … Fung, V. S. C. (2014b). Exercise for falls prevention in Parkinson disease: A randomized controlled trial. Neurology, 84(3), 304-312.
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Gawler, S., Skelton, D. A., Dinan-Young, S., Masud, T., Morris, R. W., Griffin, M., … Iliffe, S. (2016). Reducing falls among older people in general practice: The ProAct65+ exercise intervention trial. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 67, 46-54.
Hsieh, W. M., Chen, C. C., Wang, S. C., Tan, S. Y., Hwang, Y. S., Chen, S. C., … Chen, Y. L. (2014). Virtual reality system based on Kinect for the elderly in fall prevention. Technology and Healthcare: Official Journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine, 22(1), 27-36.
Kim, E. J., Arai, H., Chan, P., Chen, L.-K., D. Hill, K., Kong, B., … Won, C. W. (2015). Strategies on fall prevention for older people living in the community: A report from a round-table meeting in IAGG 2013. Journal of Clinical Gerontology and Geriatrics, 6(2), 39-44.
Moncada, L. V. V., & Mire, G. (2017). Preventing falls in older persons. American Family Physician, 96(4), 240-247.