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Authors

  1. Bergman, Karen RN, PhD
  2. Papendick, Lynda RN

Abstract

Falls among hospital inpatients are a primary concern for all associated health care providers. Falls can result in injury to the patient and sometimes to caregivers, as well as increase health care costs through management of those injuries and potential for increased length of stay. Despite the use of fall risk assessments and fall-prevention techniques, patients continue to fall. It is possible that fall risk indicators routinely used are not capturing all of the risks, especially for unique populations, such as those with neurologic illness. The purpose of this study was to identify if other fall risk indicators would be helpful in identifying fall risk and if these new indicators are unique to the neurologic illness population. From the literature, 5 fall risk indicators that may pertain to the neurologic population were compared to the use of the Hendrich fall risk indicators. History of falls (P = .045), unilateral neglect (P = .044), communication deficits (.025), and unsteady gait (.002) were all statistically significant for being present more in the neurologic population. One measure, the use of a home assist device (P = .547), was not statistically significant as being associated with neurologic diagnosis. The use of neurologic specific indicators may be useful in identifying patients with neurologic illness at risk for falls.