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The Risk Factors for Impulsivity-Related Falls Among Hospitalized Older Adults


  • Marisa Ferrari DNP RN,

  • Barbara Harrison PhD APRN GNP BC,

  • Doresea Lewis DNO BNP BC



Falls among older adults are a common, preventable problem associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Impulsivity is a known risk factor for older adult falls; however, there is a gap in evidence demonstrating the unique risk factors associated with impulsivity related falls (IRF). The research explored the association between seven fall risk factors and impulsivity related falls in hospitalized older adults in a community hospital.


This retrospective descriptive study analyzed the association between seven fall risk factors and IRF in hospitalized older adults.


The sample (N = 233) included patients age 65 years and older who had a documented in-patient fall in 2008. Of the falls, 29.7% were classified as IRF. The mean age of patients with IRF was 78 years, with the median day of fall being Day 5 of hospitalization/rehabilitation admission. Logistic regression demonstrated that only inattention and cognitive impairment were significant risk factors for IRF.


The incidence of IRF was 29.7%. Our findings also indicate that cognitive impairment and inattention are strongest predictors for IRF among usual risk factors.


Early identification of the unique risk factors associated with IRF could improve identification and reduce fall rates among hospitalized older adults.