The elderly patients, especially those aged 75 years and older, are prone to experience falls even during their stay in the hospitals. Such occurrences can lead to severe injuries which can lengthen their hospital stay and increase financial costs. In the process of investigating how falls can be prevented among the elderly during their hospital stay, this researcher intends to incorporate the Theory of Self-Efficacy in this research. According to Barbara Resnick (Resnick, 2014 as cited in Griffin & Landers, 2014), self-efficacy is “an individual’s judgment of his or her capabilities to organize and execute courses of action (p.24). Self-efficacy expectations and outcome expectations are important concepts under this theory. The concepts of self-efficacy expectations refer to the person’s “judgment” about his/her own capacity to perform a certain task while outcome expectations are “beliefs” that results occur because of certain behaviors. Griffin & Landers (2014) explain that a person forms this judgment by acquiring information from his/her actual experience or by watching others carry out such behavior. It can also come from the encouragement that others give you or your own body’s response to a certain task.
The Theory of Self-Efficacy has often been used in studies evaluating the adoption of exercise programs for certain populations, such as those recovering from stroke or those with cognitive impairment. This theory is likewise applicable to the current research because the intervention that this researcher proposes is customizing fall prevention interventions based on a proper falls assessment upon admission of the patient in the hospital. The theory emphasizes a person’s judgment of his/her abilities and the beliefs of certain behaviors. In the proposed change, this researcher highlights customizing the interventions. Every individual who comes into the hospital brings along his/her own perspective about the things he/she can do. Thus, it is important to recognize this and come out with an intervention plan that addresses such specifics. Proper falls assessment also means including questions referring to patients’ judgments of their capabilities and identifying prone-risk behaviors.
The theory can be integrated into my research project by including questions (during interviews or survey questionnaire) that would identify the sources of information that are most influential in the judgments that elderly patients make. Each of these information sources can be put in a scale so that respondents can assess which ones are most significant in their lives. As mentioned by Resnick (2014), and explained by Griffin & Landers (2014), these sources can either be, or a combination of, enactive attainment (actual experience), vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological feedback. In the related literature section, I can add studies about the elderly that uses such theory, and discuss how the theory supports my research results in my discussion section.
Griffin, M.T.Q. & Landers, M.G. (2014). Extant nursing models and theories: Grand and middle range theories. In J.J. Fitzpatrick & G. McCarthy (eds.) Theories Guiding Nursing Research and Practice: Making Nursing Knowledge Development Explicit. New York: Springer Publishing Company.