Identification of Patients at Risk for Falls in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Program


  • Lisa A. Salamon MSN RN GCNS-BC WOCN,

  • Mary Victory MSN RN,

  • Kathleen Bobay PHD RN NEA-BC



To determine if there is a more sensitive method to identify inpatient rehabilitation patients at high risk for falls rather than the Morse fall scale.


Retrospective analysis of falls occurring during 6-month period in 2009. Age and diagnosis were used to create comparison groups between patients who fell and those who did not. T-tests were used to determine differences between the two groups in FIM scores and Morse fall scores.


Patients who had stroke as a primary diagnosis were more likely to fall than other patients. Length of stay was greater for patients who fell (p = .008). The positive predictive value of the Morse fall scale for patients who fell was 57%, suggesting that it is not a sensitive predictor of falls in rehabilitation patients. Patients who fell had significantly lower FIM expression scores (p = .02).