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Tailoring Education to Perceived Fall Risk in Hospitalized Patients With Cancer: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Megan L. Kuhlenschmidt
Christina Reeber
Christine Wallace
Yanwen Chen
Jill Barnholtz-Sloan
Susan R. Mazanec
CJON 2016, 20(1), 84-89 DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.84-89

Background: Patients with cancer carry a higher risk for falls, potentially resulting in increased morbidity, mortality, and financial costs, as well as lower quality of life. Few evidence-based interventions are tailored to the patient’s perception of risk for falls.

Objectives: This study aimed to determine the effect of tailored, nurse-delivered interventions as compared to a control group on patient perception of risk for falls, confidence in fall prevention, and willingness to ask for assistance.

Methods: A two-group, prospective, randomized, controlled design was used to test the intervention in a convenience sample of 91 patients on an adult bone marrow transplantation unit. The intervention consisted of video and printed education tailored to the nurse’s risk assessment and the patient’s perception of risk. Patient’s self-reported perception, confidence, and willingness were measured at three time points: after consent within 24 hours of admission and at 24 and 72 hours after consent. The analysis consisted of a paired McNemar’s test stratified by intervention versus control group to examine differences between the groups.

Findings: About one-third of patients perceived themselves to be at low risk for falls despite a nurse rating of high risk. A statistically significant difference existed in the proportion of patients who perceived themselves to be at high risk for falls pre- and postintervention (p = 0.01). Results suggest that tailoring education to the patients’ perceived risk for falls can help patients become more aware of fall risk.

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