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Res Gerontol Nurs. 2009 Oct;2(4):287-96. doi: 10.3928/19404921-20090527-02. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

Person-environment interactions contributing to nursing home resident falls.


Although approximately 50% of nursing home residents fall annually, the surrounding circumstances remain inadequately understood. This study explored nursing staff perspectives of person, environment, and interactive circumstances surrounding nursing home falls. Focus groups were conducted at two nursing homes in the mid-Atlantic region with the highest and lowest fall rates among corporate facilities. Two focus groups were conducted per facility: one with licensed nurses and one with geriatric nursing assistants. Thematic and content analysis revealed three themes and 11 categories. Three categories under the Person theme were Change in Residents' Health Status, Decline in Residents' Abilities, and Residents' Behaviors and Personality Characteristics. There were five Nursing Home Environment categories: Design Safety, Limited Space, Obstacles, Equipment Misuse and Malfunction, and Staff and Organization of Care. Three Interactions Leading to Falls categories were identified: Reasons for Falls, Time of Falls, and High-Risk Activities. Findings highlight interactions between person and environment factors as significant contributors to resident falls.

Copyright 2009, SLACK Incorporated.

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