The lead Falls Prevention Specialist and Dementia Specialist Nurse piloted the use of Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activity systems (RITA) on wards with a high incidence of patients with dementia and falls. The aim of the pilot was to ascertain if the intervention of RITA would improve patients’ experience, wellbeing and reduce falls in older people in an acute setting.
Wards F6 and G6 cares for people with a wide variety of medical conditions who require admission to an acute hospital. These wards cater for people with delirium and dementia and therefore were chosen to take part in the project.
The acquisition of three RITA Reminiscence Interactive Therapy Activity systems for use on these wards has enabled the wards to reduce falls and reduce 1-1 support.
Falls reduction of over 60%!
Initially ward G6 was identified to take part in the falls prevention project in which RITA was applied as a tool to support the initiative. Data was collected over one month in August 2020. On average ward G6 had been experiencing 5 falls a month in the months leading up to the project. The result of applying RITA saw a 60% reduction in falls in the month of August on ward G6. Whilst this is very powerful evidence on its own, what is far more compelling is the result of RITA being removed from ward G6 in the month of September. As you can see from graph below, falls went straight back up. To establish if these results were reliable and valid, a similar ward was identified, ward F6. The process was replicable over a longer time period of two months (November and December 2020). F6 was experiencing on average 4.75 falls leading up to the project. The results of applying the RITA over two months on F6 saw a 63% reduction in falls and the second graph demonstrates on ward F6 who retained RITA, falls continued to decrease.
“Admission to Hospital results in a significant change of environment and routine for a person with cognitive impairment and this can lead to negative behaviours as the attempt to gain control over these changes. Falls in hospital among patients who have cognitive impairment are generally linked to these negative behaviours: agitation, aggression, poor sleep patterns, poor oral intake etc. Providing some level of comfort and familiarity through the use of RITA can not only introduce some level of normality but also give back a level of control: they can choose the music they like, the films or TV programmes they remember or play games that are familiar. By allowing patients to feel more settled and in control in the hospital environment then negative behaviour is reduced and this in turn leads to a reduction in falls.”
Debra Quartermaine - Falls Prevention Coordinator