Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

‘Falls not a priority’: Insights on discharging older people, admitted to hospital for a fall, back to the community

Claudia Meyer , Emma Renehan , Frances Batchelor , Catherine Said , Terence Haines , Rohan Elliott , Dianne Goeman


Falls are common among older people and a leading cause of injury-related hospitalisation. The immediate post-hospitalisation period is a risky time for further falls. This paper explores discharge strategies from the perspectives of older people hospitalised for a fall and liaison nurses who assist discharge home. Exploratory mixed methods were used. Semi-structured interviews with older people were conducted regarding their experience of the fall and discharge strategies. Quality of life, falls risk and functional capacity were measured by questionnaire. Liaison nurses were also interviewed. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Mixed method synthesis occurred using role-ordered matrix analysis. Older people (n=13) and liaison nurses (n=6) participated. Older persons’ quality of life was average and falls risk high. Thematic analysis revealed three key themes: ‘falls are not a priority’, ‘information not given, or given and not retained’, and ‘reduction in confidence and independence’. Role-ordered matrix analysis identified differences between acute and rehabilitative hospital stays. Older people hospitalised for a fall present a unique opportunity for implementation of falls prevention strategies. However, hospitalisation is often a time of crisis with competing priorities. Timing and relevance are crucial for optimal uptake of falls prevention strategies, with the primary care setting well placed for their implementation.

PY17052  Accepted 07 September 2017

© La Trobe University 2017