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Predicting and Assessing Fall Risk in an Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility

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Abstract

Purpose

Unintentional falls account for 70% of all hospital accidents. The objective of this study was to identify risk factors for falls and develop an assessment tool specific for an inpatient rehabilitation facility setting.

Design/Method

Diagnosis and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores were collected for 174 patients to assess predictors for fall risk. Independent t-tests, chi-square, and logistic regression analysis were conducted to examine differences between fallers and nonfallers.

Findings

We identified several risk factors for falls including 4 FIM items: toileting, bed transfer, tub/shower transfer, and stairs; and three diagnoses: right stroke, traumatic brain injury, and amputation. From these findings, we completed initial development of a risk assessment tool.

Conclusions

Evaluation of the tool suggests good specificity with 20%–30% of the patient population identified as high risk and good sensitivity by correctly predicting nearly 90% of patient falls.

Clinical Relevance

Continued evaluation of this assessment tool is needed to identify effectiveness in predicting patients who are at high risk for falling.

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