Inconsistency in classification and reporting of in-hospital falls

Haines, Terry P., Massey, Bernadette, Varghese, Paulose, Fleming, Jennifer and Gray, Leonard (2009) Inconsistency in classification and reporting of in-hospital falls. Journal of American Geriatric Society, 57 3: 517-523. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02142.x

Author Haines, Terry P.
Massey, Bernadette
Varghese, Paulose
Fleming, Jennifer
Gray, Leonard
Title Inconsistency in classification and reporting of in-hospital falls
Journal name Journal of American Geriatric Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0002-8614
Publication date 2009-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.02142.x
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 57
Issue 3
Start page 517
End page 523
Total pages 7
Editor Dr. Thomas T Yoshikawa
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Subject C1
920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
110308 Geriatrics and Gerontology
Abstract OBJECTIVES: To investigate agreement between hospital staff on what constitutes a fall and should be recorded on an incident report, to identify factors that influence whether a scenario is classified as a fall, and to examine the effect of providing a definition of a fall on interrater agreement. DESIGN: Two interrater agreement trials with pre–postintervention design. SETTING: Seven hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: Four hundred forty-six hospital staff (nursing 76%, physiotherapy 14%, occupational therapy, 6%) working on participating wards over a 24-hour period. MEASUREMENTS: Fourteen video scenarios were played before participants, who were asked whether they would classify each scenario as a fall and whether they would complete an incident report in that scenario. A definition of a fall was then provided and the video scenarios replayed. Two definitions were investigated; the World Health Organization definition and a custom definition. RESULTS: Consensus was not evident in five of the 14 scenarios examined. Falls onto surfaces higher than the ground were less likely to be recorded on incident reports. Hospital and ward type influenced whether a scenario was classified as a fall. Overall agreement in classifying scenarios as a fall was only marginally greater after provision of the definition in both phases, although neither had an effect on whether staff would complete an incident report. CONCLUSION: Disagreement between hospital staff in what constitutes a fall may contribute to inconsistent research findings in this field and is not meaningfully improved through provision of a definition.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 06 Jan 2010, 19:32:22 EST by Meredith Downes on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences