Impact of Ultra-Low Height Healthcare beds on Falls and Mobility: A Systematic Review
Objective: To explore the use of ultra-low height healthcare beds concerning unassisted patient sit-to-stand/walk movements, including falls. Method: Seven-stage framework from the PRISMA statement was used to develop the research question, eligibility (definition), search identification of relevant papers from title and abstract, selection and retrieval of papers, appraisal, and synthesis. Data sources: ASSIA, Medline (Ovid SP), NICE, Google Scholar, Scopus (Elsevier), and PubMed electronic databases were included. Review methods: The included references were critically appraised using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Results: The database search produced 1,057 references. These were screened by title and abstract and checked for duplication resulting in 12 included papers. Following the critical appraisal, one paper was excluded with a low critical appraisal score (less than 40%) resulting in a final dataset of 11 papers for qualitative synthesis. Conclusions: The ultra-low bed can be used to support a reduction in falls injury risks (lower height but the evidence is limited despite very promising initial findings. There are also concerns that a low height (<80% LLL) might limit mobility for STS/STW without using a grab rail (and pushing up from the bed). The functional use of the bed for STS/STW needs to be considered as part of a larger microsystem, including the use of side rails, grab rails, and other adjacent furniture/walking aids.
Fray M, Hignett S, Gyi D
Keywords: patient safety, falls, low bed
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