Centre for Research in Aged Care / School of Nursing and Midwifery
Background: Family carers are important in preventing community-dwelling older people from falling. Family carers’ concerns about older people's risk of falling could affect their own physical and psychological health, lifestyle, and burden of care. While there are many studies exploring factors associated with fear of falling among older people, there is no research on family carers’ fall concern of older people (care recipients) who are hospitalised. Aim: This paper describes a prospective study protocol exploring the relationship of fall concern, psychological distress, and quality of life of family carers when their care recipient is hospitalised and after discharge. Methods: The study will recruit 180 family carers and older people. Family carers providing support for an older person without cognitive impairment who has been admitted to a private metropolitan hospital in Western Australia and assessed to have a risk of falling will be included. Data will be collected using an interviewer-administered survey. All participants will complete the survey within 48 h before the patient's discharge, follow-up one week later (only for family carers), and again 30 days after the patient is discharged. Data related to falls, fall concern, psychological distress, and quality of life will be obtained from family carers and care recipients. Discussion: This study will provide deeper understanding about the factors affecting fall concern among family carers of older people during hospitalisation and after discharge. This will help healthcare professionals better support family carers to implement fall prevention strategies for older people whilst in hospital and in the community.
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