Why older people refuse to participate in falls prevention trials: A qualitative study

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Background/Objectives: Falls are a major public health problem. Older persons are frequently underrepresented in trials, including falls prevention trials. Insight into possible reasons for non-participation could help to improve trial designs and participation rates among this age-group. The aim of this study was to explore reasons why older people refuse to participate in falls prevention trials. Setting: A qualitative study. Participants: Community-dwelling adults aged >= 65 years who attended the Emergency Department due to a fall and refused to participate in a falls prevention trial (IMPROveFALL-study). Measurements: A structured interview guide was used, and interview transcripts were subjected to an independent content analysis by two researchers. Results: 15 interviews were conducted. A main reason to refuse trial participation was mobility impairment. In contrast, younger and more "active" and mobile seniors considered themselves "too healthy" to participate. Persons with multiple comorbidities mentioned that they attended a hospital too often, or experienced adequate follow-up by their own physicians already. Transport problems, including distance to the hospital, parking facilities, and travel expenses were another issue. During the i Conclusions: Older persons reported multiple reasons to refuse participation in a falls prevention study, such as health-related factors, several practical problems, and personal beliefs about the causes and preventability of falls. Anticipation of those issues might contribute to an improvement in participation rates of older fallers, shorter study duration, and a better generalizability of research findings. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)342-345
Number of pages4
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09
  • EMC MUSC-01-47-01
  • EMC MUSC-01-48-01
  • EMC NIHES-02-65-02
  • EMC OR-01-39-08

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