Comparison of Fallers and Nonfallers at an Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility: A Retrospective Review


  • Frances Kwan PT DPT OCS,

  • Stephanie Kaplan PT DPT ATP,

  • Mary Hudson-McKinney PT MS DPT NCS,

  • Donna Redman-Bentley PT PhD,

  • Emily R. Rosario BS MS PhD


Patients in an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) are at increased fall risk. However, little IRF research has focused on fall risk.


The purpose of this study was to retrospectively examine differences between 35 patients who fell and 35 who did not during their IRF stay .


The following admission data were compared: age, gender, diagnosis, Morse Fall Scale score, and 18 Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores. Independent t-tests were conducted for age and FIM scores, Mann–Whitney test was conducted for Morse scores, and chi-square tests were conducted for gender and diagnosis to examine differences between fallers and nonfallers.


There were no significant differences between groups for age, gender, diagnosis, or Morse scores. However, there were significant differences for 12 FIM items, and FIM Motor, Cognitive, and Total scores.


The results suggest that the Morse Scale may not be the most appropriate tool for assessing fall risk in an IRF.

Conclusions and clinical relevance

Decisions about fall risk should consider admission FIM scores.