[Risk factors for falls and fall-related injuries in an acute care hospital--a retrospective case control study].


Journal Article

Falls in patient are a major problem in acute care institutions because of direct and indirect consequences. The objectives of the present retrospective case control study were to explore predictors of falls and fall-related injuries in hospitalised patients in a department of internal medicine at a Swiss acute care hospital. The sample included 228 hospitalised patients with a fall and 228 patients without a fall as control subjects, matched by age, gender and medical diagnosis. The cases were further analysed, whereby injured patients were compared with uninjured ones. Data were obtained from patient records and the hospital information system (HIS). Patients with a previous fall, mobility disorders, altered cognition, altered urinary and fecal excretions, intake of sedativa or other psychotropic drugs, a higher amount of comorbidities and case mix, as well as a prolonged length of stay were significantly more frequent in the cases than in the controls. Patients with falls and controls showed no differences in terms of impaired vision, intake of five and more medications, or diuretica. Analysis by logistic regression revealed mobility disorder (OR 5,2; 95 % VI 2.39-11.44) and altered excretions (OR 1,8; 95 % VI 1.02-3.31) as significant main effects and there also were significant interactions between previous falls, intake of sedativa or other psychopharmaca and altered cognition. No difference could be seen in any variable between patients with a fall-related injury and no injury. Therefore a predictive profile could be found for patients at risk to fall which might be helpful for further prevention strategies. However, no predictive marker for fall-related injuries could be defined in the present study.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Müller, R; Halfens, R; Schwendimann, R; Müller, M; Imoberdorf, R; Ballmer, PE

Published Date

  • December 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 431 - 441

PubMed ID

  • 19943228

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19943228

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1012-5302

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1024/1012-5302.22.6.431


  • ger