A new report from Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews updates a report originally published in 2011 with new research that supports the most effective fall prevention and safety measures. Of course, safe and sufficient staffing with proper training is always a must.
The authors looked at 11 studies with 19,003 participants to test alternative safety measures to prevent traumatic fall incidents. Staff can reduce fall risk with proper training and supervision; the use of physical restraints is not necessary, according to the study. Restraints limit physical function and mobility but may boost the risk of injury. for example, bed rails and belts increase safety but are considered risky restraints because of negative consequences. The benefits are minimal without safe staffing and supervision.
“The results of this review show that physical restraints in nursing homes can be reduced without increasing falls or fall-related injuries,” Ralph Möhler, lead author and a researcher from the University Hospital Düsseldorf in Germany, told MedicalXpress.