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Reducing harms of care for hospitalized older adults



Project Description

The hospitalized elderly are vulnerable to suffering adverse events related to medical care such as falls, functional decline and delirium. While physical restraints used to control potentially harmful behaviors are known to be associated with injury, there are many informal tethers that are used in the course of medical care that are potentially associated with similar injuries. The literature in this area is sparse.  We propose a multi-stage project focusing on informal tethers. First, we would propose analysis of a national database of adverse events for evaluation of the number and types of device-related events using a structured event abstraction tool. Second, we would to prospectively explore the relationship of informal tethers to mobility on the Acute Care for Elders Unit at the University of Colorado Hospital. Third, we would assess the appropriateness of the informal tethers using predetermined criteria. Finally, we would plan and roll out an intervention to reduce the use of informal tethers based on the finding of the earlier work. 

Mentor Name

Wald, Heidi

Mentor Location

13199 E. Montview Ave, Suite 400, Aurora, CO 80045

Mentor Contact Number

303 724-2446

Mentor Contact Email


Enter Choice #1

Preceptor Name






Funding Department/Program


Area of Study

Health Care and Public Health Research




Chart Review; Surveys, Questionnaires, and Psychological Testing

Disease or Symptom

Infection; Neurological Illness

Faculty/Lab Website

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Created at 6/17/2011 9:50 AM by Vetter, Stephanie
Last modified at 7/9/2013 1:54 PM by Watts, Katie