The Value of Patient Narratives in the Assessment of Older Patients Presenting with Falls
Keywords:patient narratives, older persons, falls
Background & Purpose
Falls are a common and serious health problem experienced by older persons. The perception and interpretation of the fall experience can influence the long-term consequences of the event. In this pilot study, we explored whether there would be additional value in obtaining a patient narrative as part of the assessment of an older person who had fallen.
We conducted narrative interviews on a convenience sample of five older patients referred to the Calgary Fall Prevention Clinic (CFPC). Phenomena from the narratives were generated using original audio recordings. A focus group of four CFPC health professionals discussed similarities and differences between the narratives and the CFPC assessments conducted on these subjects without access to the narratives.
Patient narratives revealed additional information about the person’s emotional response to their falls and overall health status, their strengths that could be utilized in implementing a care plan, and what they had done personally to prevent further falls.
Including patient narratives within standard fall-risk assessments could aid in understanding the emotional impact of falls on older patients and how they might respond to interventions. A challenge would be incorporating this within the time restraints of routine clinical practice.
How to Cite
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