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J Gerontol Nurs. 2001 Oct;27(10):40-8.

The effect of physical restraints on fall rates in older adults who are institutionalized.

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  • 1Oakland University, School of Nursing, Rochester, MI 48309-4401, USA.

Abstract

Since the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987, there has been a significant reduction in the use of physical restraints to prevent falls in older adults who are institutionalized because of the developing awareness of the physical and psychological problems associated with them. The purpose of this ex post facto descriptive study was to determine if there is a difference in falls when physical restraints are allowed or prohibited in one older adult population. Data from incident reports from a purposive sample of 97 older adults in one long-term care facility were analyzed before and after the implementation of a restraint-free policy. The results indicated no significant difference in the number of falls before and after the policy change. However, there was a significantly lower number of falls with injuries and a significantly higher number of falls without injuries. These findings suggest older adults will continue to fall with or without the use of physical restraints because of changes associated with the aging process and risk factors. Removing physical barriers from older adults and allowing freedom of movement may decrease the severity of injury sustained in a fall.

PMID:
11820377
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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