Patient safety and falls: a qualitative study of home care nurses in Norway

Nurs Health Sci. 2012 Dec;14(4):452-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2018.2012.00701.x. Epub 2012 Oct 9.


This study explored patient safety and falls, based on the experiences of home care nurses. Four focus group interviews were conducted with 20 home care nurses. The data were analyzed by content analysis. This study identified the following four themes: (i) patient safety was not viewed as primary prevention; (ii) the lack of investigation into causes of falls; (iii) the frailty of older people who can no longer live at home independently and safely; and (iv) patient autonomy versus patient safety. In this study, we showed that home care nurses felt that healthcare personnel were more concerned with the treatment of falls, rather than fall prevention. In addition, home care nurses rarely focused on falls before they occurred. The patient's autonomy was placed before patient safety. This study illustrates that home care nurses might be more aware of fall prevention in clinical practice. Additional research is recommended to shed more light on this topic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Frail Elderly
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Patient Safety*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Risk Assessment