The Impact of Falls: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of People Receiving Haemodialysis

Young, Hannah M. L.; Ruddock, Nicki; Harrison, Mary; Goodliffe, Samantha; Lightfoot, Courtney J.; Mayes, Juliet; Nixon, Andrew C.; Greenwood, Sharlene A.; Conroy, Simon; Singh, Sally J.; Burton, James O.; Smith, Alice C. and Eborall, Helen (2022). The Impact of Falls: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of People Receiving Haemodialysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(7), article no. e3873.



The prevalence of falls is high in people receiving haemodialysis (HD). This study aimed to explore the experiences of people receiving HD who had fallen in the last six months. A qualitative study, informed by constructivist grounded theory, used semi-structured interviews in combination with falls diaries. Twenty-five adults (mean age of 69 ± 10 years, 13 female, 13 White British) receiving HD with a history of at least one fall in the last six months (median 3, IQR 2−4) participated. Data were organised within three themes: (a) participants’ perceptions of the cause of their fall(s): poor balance, weakness, and dizziness, exacerbated by environmental causes, (b) the consequences of the fall: injuries were disproportionate to the severity of the fall leading to loss of confidence, function and disruptions to HD, (c) reporting and coping with falls: most did not receive any specific care regarding falls. Those who attended falls services reported access barriers. In response, personal coping strategies included avoidance, vigilance, and resignation. These findings indicate that a greater focus on proactively identifying falls, comprehensive assessment, and timely access to appropriate falls prevention programmes is required to improve care and outcomes.

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