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Nurs Older People. 2011 Mar;23(2):21-6.

The importance of identity in falls prevention.

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  • 1School of Nursing, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham.



To explore the meaning of falling for older people who had participated in a falls prevention programme to establish the importance of identity in falls prevention interventions.


Data were collected in a 14-week video observation period of two consecutive falls prevention group programmes, examination of participant referral records and a series of semi-structured interviews with 11 participants.


The meaning of falling for older people is closely related to the individual's identity. Participants attended the falls prevention programme because a professional they respected referred them, not because they thought they would gain personal value. Participants used a collective identity, of individuals who fall, to show how they differed from this social construct.


The findings indicate the importance of the personal and collective identity of ageing on falls prevention. Professionals consulting with older people about falls prevention should offer individual plans that are agreed and valued by the older person.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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