Establishing a new falls clinic – conflicting attitudes and inter-sectoral competition affecting the outcome

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    Falls clinics are a newer model for falls management among the elderly. Few studies have addressed the impact of the strategy on falls prevention in the healthcare system. The aim of the present study was to describe the social processes that affect the implementation of new strategies in falls management. A newly established falls clinic was chosen as an instrumental case to describe the systematic and comprehensive approach to falls prevention among the elderly. The investigation had a qualitative case study research design with triangulation of sources and methods, including interviews, participant observation and analysis of documents. The study was conducted from January 2006 to June 2007 at a newly established falls clinic at a Danish hospital. Data were analysed qualitatively according to four main themes: The concept of falls, success/failure, competition and expertise. The study showed that the falls clinic was embedded in a context where interests varied at different levels of the organizational hierarchy. In contrast to the political agenda for falls prevention, patients and professionals did not associate falls with chronological age. The biomedical structure of the falls clinic and the hegemonic mode of handling falls prevention may have facilitated falls prevention services and patient trajectories across sectors, but if falls are associated with chronic disease secondary to an unhealthy lifestyle, the individual patient becomes responsible for the falls problem. This may subsequently prevent the patients from seeking timely help from the healthcare system, or patients may drop out of the existing programmes. Future research needs to look at sustainability and dropping out in relation to falls prevention programmes.
    TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)473-481
    Antal sider7
    StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2009