Differences in nurses’ knowledge, behavior and patient falls incidents and severity following a falls e-learning program

Maree Johnson, Neil Hime, Catherine Zheng, Duong Thuy Tran, Linda Kelly, Katica Siric


Background: Continuing high rates of falls was a major concern to senior nurses within our health service. Researchers and educators came together to develop and evaluate an on-line falls e-learning program to increase nurses’ knowledge and falls prevention behaviors and therefore reduce falls incidents and severity.

Methods: Using a pre-post test design, nurses’  knowledge and behaviour (N = 71) were measured prior to undertaking the education program and three months after, using the Nurses’ Falls Knowledge Test and the Falls-Prevent Scale. Patient falls incidents and severity were compared for 8 months prior to and 8 months following completion of the education program.

Results: Falls knowledge was high at pre (20/21 correct) and post testing (20) with no significant difference (P = .24) found. Falls prevention behaviors significantly increased from 198.5 pre-test to 211 post-test (P < .001). There was no change in rates of falls  (mean falls rates per 1000 occupied bed days [OBD] were 8.9 pre and 8.8 post, hospital 1; 3.5 pre and 5.5 post; hospital 2). A reduction in the severity of falls occurred in hospital 1 but the changes were too small for significance testing.

Conclusions: This e-learning falls education program has demonstrated increases in nurses’ preventive falls behaviors.  Although falls incidents were not reduced the best practice approaches promoted by this program are supported in national health policy and some systematic reviews. This program is being distributed to our hospitals.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v4n4p28

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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