Appropriate seating for medical patients: An audit
Kuys, Suzanne S., Dolecka, Urszula E. and Morrison, Carol A.. (2011) Appropriate seating for medical patients: An audit. Australian Health Review. 35(3), pp. 316 - 319. https://doi.org/10.1071/AH10943
|Authors||Kuys, Suzanne S., Dolecka, Urszula E. and Morrison, Carol A.|
Objective. To determine the number and types of chairs available for patient use; to establish minimum criteria of appropriate chairs; and to assess the suitability of available chairs to seat patients admitted to medical wards.
Methods. Audit of chairs available in medical wards in a tertiary referral public hospital was conducted. All chairs relevant to patient use were photographed and counted. An expert panel determined minimum criteria of appropriate seating for older patients from functional, occupational health and safety, ergonomic, infection control and usability viewpoints. The number of chairs meeting the minimum criteria level was recorded and was expressed as a percentage of the number of required chairs (hospitalised patients able to be sat out of bed).
Results. A total of 270 chairs of 36 different types were identified. The majority of chairs, 231 (85%), did not meet the minimum criteria. Thirty-nine chairs met the minimum criteria for patients to sit in with 113 (66%) patients unable to sit out of bed.
Conclusion. This study identified that there were insufficient appropriate chairs available for patients to sit out of bed in this facility. This has potential implications for functional ability of the patients, particularly for the older person.
What is known about the topic? Low levels of activity have previously been reported for older adults hospitalised for an acute illness and early mobilisation of stable hospitalised patients, including sitting out of bed for short periods in the day, is regarded as best practice. Some features, such as arm rests and appropriate seat height, of appropriate chairs suitable for older adults are well-known. However, the compliance of facilities to provide appropriate seating has not been investigated.
What does this paper add? We conducted a review of available chairs within a medical division of a tertiary referral public hospital with respect to functional, occupational health and safety, ergonomic, infection control and usability criteria. The majority of available chairs did not meet minimum criteria and approximately two-thirds of patients were unable to sit out of bed due to a lack of appropriate chairs.
What are the implications for practitioners? Providing appropriate seating to patients, particularly those who are older, during a hospital admission is an essential component of the rehabilitation and recovery process. It cannot be assumed that chairs available are appropriate and regular audits should be conducted.
|Keywords||chairs; medical patients; patient seating|
|Journal||Australian Health Review|
|Journal citation||35 (3), pp. 316 - 319|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1071/AH10943|
|Page range||316 - 319|
|Research Group||School of Allied Health|
|Place of publication||Australia|
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