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Abstract

Purpose: Fall prevention is an ongoing concern in long-term care. Self-efficacy of nursing staff affects their performance levels related to fall prevention. Research concerning falls in the elderly is plentiful but there are no published studies addressing self-efficacy of nursing staff for implementation of fall prevention strategies in long-term care. The authors hypothesize that fall prevention education by an occupational therapist would be effective to improve the self-efficacy of nursing staff for implementation of fall prevention strategies and self-efficacy to prevent resident falls.

Method: A pre-test post-test pilot study implementing a five-week, multifaceted, fall prevention education course was conducted by an occupational therapist. The SEPF-A and SEPF-N were administered to the nursing staff respective of their professional licensure to assess falls self-efficacy before and after the course.

Results: Eight participants (6 certified nursing assistants & 2 nurses) completed the course. A statistically significant improvement (p = .043, a = .05) in falls self-efficacy was noted for the nursing assistants. Following training, there was a 40% increase in the SEPF-A and a 67% increase in the SEPF-N indicating an improvement in self-efficacy related to falls.

Conclusion: Fall prevention training by a licensed expert may be an effective approach to increase self-efficacy of nursing staff for implementation of fall prevention strategies and for prevention of resident falls in long-term care.

Author Bio(s)

Mark Leverenz OTD, OTR/L is the Director of Rehabilitation Services at Friendship Manor in Rock Island, IL. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Occupational Therapy at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA

Jennifer Lape OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. She is also co-author of Research for the Health Professional, a guide for research and evidence-based practice for a variety of healthcare students and professionals.

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