Background Falls are a common hospital occurrence complicating the care of patients. From an economic perspective, the impact of in-hospital falls and related injuries is substantial. However, few studies have examined the economic implications of falls prevention interventions in an acute care setting. The 6-PACK programme is a targeted nurse delivered falls prevention programme designed specifically for acute hospital wards. It includes a risk assessment tool and six simple strategies that nurses apply to patients classified as high-risk by the tool.
Objective To examine the incremental cost-effectiveness of the 6-PACK programme for the prevention of falls and fall-related injuries, compared with usual care practice, from an acute hospital perspective.
Methods and design The 6-PACK project is a multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) that includes 24 acute medical and surgical wards from six hospitals in Australia to investigate the efficacy of the 6-PACK programme. This economic evaluation will be conducted alongside the 6-PACK cluster RCT. Outcome and hospitalisation cost data will be prospectively collected on approximately 16 000 patients admitted to the participating wards during the 12-month trial period. The results of the economic evaluation will be expressed as ‘cost or saving per fall prevented’ and ‘cost or saving per fall-related injury prevented’ calculated from differences in mean costs and effects in the intervention and control groups, to generate an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER).
Discussion This economic evaluation will provide an opportunity to explore the cost-effectiveness of a targeted nurse delivered falls prevention programme for reducing in-hospital falls and fall-related injuries. This protocol provides a detailed statement of a planned economic evaluation conducted alongside a cluster RCT to investigate the efficacy of the 6-PACK programme to prevent falls and fall-related injuries.
Trial registration number The protocol for the cluster RCT is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12611000332921).
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Funding National Health & Medical Research Council, Australia (APP1007627).
Competing interests None.
Patient consent This study is a cluster randomised controlled trial. As such hospital wards and not individual patients have been recruited to this study.
Ethics approval Multicentre approval has been granted by Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (project number: CF11/0229: 2011000072). Site-specific ethics and research governance approval has also been obtained from local ethics committees at all participating hospitals.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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