Falls and fall risk among nursing home residents

Fonad, Edit, Robins Wahlin, Tarja-Brita, Winblad, Bengt, Emami, Azita and Sandmark, Helene (2008) Falls and fall risk among nursing home residents. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17 1: 126-134. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02005.x

Author Fonad, Edit
Robins Wahlin, Tarja-Brita
Winblad, Bengt
Emami, Azita
Sandmark, Helene
Title Falls and fall risk among nursing home residents
Journal name Journal of Clinical Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2702
Publication date 2008-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2007.02005.x
Volume 17
Issue 1
Start page 126
End page 134
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Blackwell Science
Language eng
Subject 1110 Nursing
Formatted abstract
 Aim and objectives. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for falls in older people living in nursing homes.

Background. Impaired cognitive function and a poor sense of orientation could lead to an increase in falls among those with impaired freedom of movement. Many accidents occur while an older person is walking or being moved.

Method. The study was carried out over four years (2000–2003) and 21 nursing home units in five municipal homes for older people in Stockholm, Sweden, participated. A questionnaire was sent to staff nurses, including questions on fall risk assessments, falls, fractures, medication and freedom-restricting measures, such as wheelchairs with belts and bed rails. The data were aggregated and not patient-bound. The study covered 2343 reported incidents.

Results. There was a significant correlation between falls and fractures (r = 0·365, p = 0·004), fall risk and use of wheelchairs (r = 0·406, p = 0·001, safety belts (r = 0·403,p = 0·001 and bed rails (r = 0·446, p = 0·000) and between the occurrence of fractures and the use of sleeping pills with benzodiazepines (r = 0·352, p = 0·005). Associations were also found between fall risk and the use of anti-depressants (r = 0·412, p = 0·001).

Conclusion. In clinical practice, patient safety is very important. Preventative measures should focus on risk factors associated with individuals, including their environment. Wheelchairs with safety belts and bed rails did not eliminate falls but our results support the hypothesis that they might be protective when used selectively with less anti-depressants and sleeping pills, especially benzodiazepines.

© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Keyword Drugs
Injury prevention
Old people
Physical restraints
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 18 Jan 2010, 09:35:25 EST by Tara Johnson on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences