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Rehabil Nurs. 2008 Jan-Feb;33(1):33-43.

Link between safe patient handling and patient outcomes in long-term care.

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Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, James A Haley Veterans Administration Medical Center, Tampa FL 33612, USA.


This study examined the relationship between safe patient handling and quality of care measures. A comprehensive patient care ergonomics program included six elements. Using a retrospective observational design, 10 quality domains were compared before and after implementation of the program for 111 residents living on 24 units in six Veterans Administration nursing homes using a general linear regression model with repeated measures clustered within time and adjusted for age. After implementation, we found lower levels of depression, improved urinary continence, higher engagement in activities, lower fall risk, and higher levels of alertness during the day. Additionally, four areas showed a decline in function: pain, combativeness, locomotion, and cognition. Findings from this study may be useful in enhancing organizational support for safe patient-handling programs and could be used to build a business case for improving caregiver safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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