REFINE (Reducing Falls in In-patient Elderly): a randomised controlled trial

Vass, Catherine D., Sahota, Opinder, Drummond, Avril, Kendrick, Denise, Gladman, John R.F., Sach, Tracey, Avis, Mark and Grainge, Matthew J. (2009) REFINE (Reducing Falls in In-patient Elderly): a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 10 (83). ISSN 1745-6215

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Background: Falls in hospitals are common, resulting in injury and anxiety to patients, and large

costs to NHS organisations. More than half of all in-patient falls in elderly people in acute care

settings occur at the bedside, during transfers or whilst getting up to go to the toilet. In the majority

of cases these falls are unwitnessed. There is insufficient evidence underpinning the effectiveness of

interventions to guide clinical staff regarding the reduction of falls in the elderly inpatient. New

patient monitoring technologies have the potential to offer advances in falls prevention. Bedside

sensor equipment can alert staff, not in the immediate vicinity, to a potential problem and avert a

fall. However no studies utilizing this assistive technology have demonstrated a significant reduction

in falls rates in a randomised controlled trial setting.

Methods/Design: The research design is an individual patient randomised controlled trial of

bedside chair and bed pressure sensors, incorporating a radio-paging alerting mode to alert staff to

patients rising from their bed or chair, across five acute elderly care wards in Nottingham

University Hospitals NHS Trust. Participants will be randomised to bedside chair and bed sensors

or to usual care (without the use of sensors). The primary outcome is the number of bedside inpatient


Discussion: The REFINE study is the first randomised controlled trial of bedside pressure sensors

in elderly inpatients in an acute NHS Trust. We will assess whether falls can be successfully and

cost effectively reduced using this technology, and report on its acceptability to both patients and


Trial Registration: ISRCTN trial number: ISRCTN44972300.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Vass, Dr C D
Date Deposited: 16 May 2014 10:10
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 20:27

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