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Falling from grace or into expert hands? : alternative accounts about falling in older people.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2000
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number12
Volume63
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)573-579
StatePublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Falls in older people are a priority area for both research and clinical intervention in the United Kingdom. There is, however, currently an absence of research exploring the meaning and interpretation of a fall. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 therapists and with eight older people with fractured hips. The therapists' accounts appeared to draw on a 'risk discourse' which constructed a fall as a predictable and preventable event, highlighting individual patient characteristics as causative factors and suggesting that therapists were more knowledgeable about this subject. The accounts of the older inpatients, conversely, made use of a 'moral discourse', in which commendable personal qualities and competencies were emphasised. It is suggested that this work has implications for therapy in that many falls prevention initiatives and health promotion materials may be falsely premised on an acceptance of vulnerability by older people.