Introduction: Older adults recently discharged from hospital have greater incidence of adverse events, functional decline, falls and subsequent readmission. Providing education to hospitalised patients on how to prevent falls at home could reduce postdischarge falls. There has been limited research investigating how older adults respond to tailored falls prevention education provided at hospital discharge. The aim of this study is to evaluate how providing tailored falls prevention education to older patients at the point of, and immediately after hospital discharge in addition to usual care, affects engagement in falls prevention strategies in the 6-months postdischarge period, including their capability and motivation to engage in falls prevention strategies.

Methods and analyses: This prospective observational cohort study is a process evaluation of a randomized controlled trial, using an embedded mixed-method design. Participants (n=390) who have been enrolled in the trial are over the age of 60 years, scoring greater than 7/10 on the Abbreviated Mental Test Score. Participants are being discharged from hospital rehabilitation wards in Perth, Western Australia, and followed up for 6 months postdischarge. Primary outcome measures for the process evaluation are engagement in falls prevention strategies, including exercise, home modifications and receiving assistance with activities of daily living. Secondary outcomes will measure capability, motivation and opportunity to engage in falls prevention strategies, based on the constructs of the Capability Opportunity Motivation Behaviour system. Quantitative data are collected at baseline, then at 6 months postdischarge using structured phone interviews. Qualitative data are collected from a purposive sample of the cohort, using semistructured in-depth phone interviews. Quantitative data will be analysed using regression modelling and qualitative data will be analysed using interpretive phenomenological analysis.

Ethics and dissemination: Results will be presented in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences worldwide. This study is approved by hospital and university Human Research Ethics Committees.


older adults, falls prevention, education, post hospital discharge, protocol

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