Focused educational intervention improves but may not sustain knowledge regarding falls management

Punith Kempegowda, Joht Singh Chandan, Richard Hutton, Lauren Brown, Wendy Madden, June Webb, Alison Doyle, Jonathan Treml

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The number of falls in hospital ranges from 3.8 to 8.6 falls per 1000 bed days.1 Around 30% of falls as inpatients are injurious, and 4%-6% can result in serious and life-threatening injury.2 3 This results in significant health burdens and economic burdens due to increased hospital stays following a fall. Junior doctors are usually the first point of contact for managing patients who fall in hospital. It is therefore important they understand the preventative measures and postfalls management.

Aim: To assess the retention of knowledge regarding falls management in foundation year 1 (FY1) doctors before and after a short educational intervention.

Methods: A 3-stage quality improvement project was conducted at a West Midlands teaching hospital to highlight issues regarding falls management. A questionnaire assessing areas of knowledge regarding assessment and management of falls was delivered to 31 F1s. This was followed by a short presentation regarding falls management. The change in knowledge was assessed at 6 and 16 weeks postintervention. The questionnaire results were analysed using unpaired t-tests on STATA (V.14.2).

Results: The mean score for knowledge regarding falls management in the preintervention, early postintervention and late postintervention were 73.7%, 85.2% and 76.4%, respectively. Although there was an improvement in the knowledge at 6 weeks' postintervention, this returned to almost baseline at 16 weeks. The improvement in knowledge did not translate to clinical practice of falls management during this period.

Conclusion: Although educational interventions improve knowledge, the intervention failed to sustain over period of time or translate in clinical practice. Further work is needed to identify alternative methods to improve sustainability of the knowledge of falls and bring in the change in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000222
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ open quality
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2018


  • medical education
  • quality improvement
  • team training


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