Older people and falls: health status, quality of life, lifestyle, care networks, prevention and views on service use following a recent fall

Authors

  • Brenda Roe,

    1. Authors:Brenda Roe, PhD, RN, RHV, FRSH, Professor of Health Research, Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK; Fiona Howell, MA, RN, RHV, Lecturer in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK; Konstantinos Riniotis, MSc, Consultant Physician in Medicine, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, Scotland; Roger Beech, BSc, PhD, Reader Health Services Research, Centre for Health Planning and Management, Keele University, Staffordshire UK and Academic Lead for Research, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust; Peter Crome, MD, PhD, FRCP, FFPM, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK and President of the British Geriatrics Society; Bie Nio Ong, BA, Bed, MA, PhD; Professor of Health Services Research, Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, Staffordshire, UK and Chair of Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust
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  • Fiona Howell,

    1. Authors:Brenda Roe, PhD, RN, RHV, FRSH, Professor of Health Research, Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK; Fiona Howell, MA, RN, RHV, Lecturer in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK; Konstantinos Riniotis, MSc, Consultant Physician in Medicine, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, Scotland; Roger Beech, BSc, PhD, Reader Health Services Research, Centre for Health Planning and Management, Keele University, Staffordshire UK and Academic Lead for Research, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust; Peter Crome, MD, PhD, FRCP, FFPM, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK and President of the British Geriatrics Society; Bie Nio Ong, BA, Bed, MA, PhD; Professor of Health Services Research, Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, Staffordshire, UK and Chair of Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust
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  • Konstantinos Riniotis,

    1. Authors:Brenda Roe, PhD, RN, RHV, FRSH, Professor of Health Research, Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK; Fiona Howell, MA, RN, RHV, Lecturer in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK; Konstantinos Riniotis, MSc, Consultant Physician in Medicine, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, Scotland; Roger Beech, BSc, PhD, Reader Health Services Research, Centre for Health Planning and Management, Keele University, Staffordshire UK and Academic Lead for Research, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust; Peter Crome, MD, PhD, FRCP, FFPM, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK and President of the British Geriatrics Society; Bie Nio Ong, BA, Bed, MA, PhD; Professor of Health Services Research, Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, Staffordshire, UK and Chair of Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust
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  • Roger Beech,

    1. Authors:Brenda Roe, PhD, RN, RHV, FRSH, Professor of Health Research, Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK; Fiona Howell, MA, RN, RHV, Lecturer in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK; Konstantinos Riniotis, MSc, Consultant Physician in Medicine, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, Scotland; Roger Beech, BSc, PhD, Reader Health Services Research, Centre for Health Planning and Management, Keele University, Staffordshire UK and Academic Lead for Research, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust; Peter Crome, MD, PhD, FRCP, FFPM, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK and President of the British Geriatrics Society; Bie Nio Ong, BA, Bed, MA, PhD; Professor of Health Services Research, Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, Staffordshire, UK and Chair of Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust
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  • Peter Crome,

    1. Authors:Brenda Roe, PhD, RN, RHV, FRSH, Professor of Health Research, Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK; Fiona Howell, MA, RN, RHV, Lecturer in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK; Konstantinos Riniotis, MSc, Consultant Physician in Medicine, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, Scotland; Roger Beech, BSc, PhD, Reader Health Services Research, Centre for Health Planning and Management, Keele University, Staffordshire UK and Academic Lead for Research, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust; Peter Crome, MD, PhD, FRCP, FFPM, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK and President of the British Geriatrics Society; Bie Nio Ong, BA, Bed, MA, PhD; Professor of Health Services Research, Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, Staffordshire, UK and Chair of Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust
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  • Bie Nio Ong

    1. Authors:Brenda Roe, PhD, RN, RHV, FRSH, Professor of Health Research, Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK; Fiona Howell, MA, RN, RHV, Lecturer in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK; Konstantinos Riniotis, MSc, Consultant Physician in Medicine, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock, Scotland; Roger Beech, BSc, PhD, Reader Health Services Research, Centre for Health Planning and Management, Keele University, Staffordshire UK and Academic Lead for Research, Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust; Peter Crome, MD, PhD, FRCP, FFPM, Professor of Geriatric Medicine, School of Medicine, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK and President of the British Geriatrics Society; Bie Nio Ong, BA, Bed, MA, PhD; Professor of Health Services Research, Institute of Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, Staffordshire, UK and Chair of Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust
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Brenda Roe, Professor of Health Research, Evidence-based Practice Research Centre, Faculty of Health, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, L39 4QP, UK. Telephone: +44 1695 650941.
E-mail:roeb@edgehill.ac.uk

Abstract

Aim and objective.  This study has investigated older people’s experiences of a recent fall, its impact on their health, lifestyle, quality of life, care networks, prevention and their views on service use.

Background.  Falls are common in older people and prevalence increases with age. Falls prevention is a major policy and service initiative.

Design.  An exploratory, qualitative design involving two time points.

Method.  A convenience sample of 27 older people from two primary care trusts who had a recent fall. Taped semi structured qualitative interviews were conducted and repeated at follow up to detect change over time and repeat falls. Data were collected on their experience of falls, health, activities of living, lifestyle, quality of life, use of services, prevention of falls, informal care and social networks. Content analysis of transcribed interviews identified key themes.

Results.  The majority of people fell indoors (n = 23), were repeat fallers (n = 22) with more than half alone when they fell (n = 15). For five people it was their first ever fall. Participants in primary care trust 1 had a higher mean age than those in primary care trust 2 and had more injurious falls (n = 12, mean age 87 years vs. n = 15, mean age 81 years). The majority of non-injurious falls went unreported to formal services. Falls can result in a decline in health status, ability to undertake activities of living, lifestyle and quality of life.

Conclusions.  Local informal care and support networks are as important as formal care for older people at risk of falls or who have fallen. Access to falls prevention programmes and services is limited for people living in more rural communities.

Relevance to practice.  Falls prevention initiatives and services should work with local communities, agencies and informal carers to ensure equitable access and provision of information, resources and care to meet the needs of older people at risk or who have fallen.

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