Vassallo, M., Mallela, S. K., Williams, A., Kwan, J. W., Allen, S. C. and Sharma, J. C., 2009. Fall risk factors in elderly patients with cognitive impairment on rehabilitation wards. Geriatrics & Gerontology International, 9 (1), pp. 41-46.
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0594.2008.00506.x
Background: Confusion and cognitive impairment, are risk factors for falls in hospital. Evidence for reducing falls in cognitively-impaired patients is limited and to date no intervention has consistently been shown to reduce falls in this group of patients. We explored characteristics associated with falls in cognitively-impaired patients in a rehabilitation setting. Methods: In a prospective observational study, 825 consecutive patients were studied. Patient characteristics were assessed on admission. Factors predisposing to falls in cognitively-impaired patients were identified. Results: Cognitively-impaired patients were more likely to be fallers or recurrent fallers and more likely to sustain an injury than cognitively intact patients. They had a higher incidence of nursing home discharges and a significantly higher mortality. Logistic regression analysis showed that an unsafe gait (P < 0.001; 95% confidence interval, 0.13–0.57) was the only independent risk factor for falls in this group of patients. There was a cumulative higher risk of falling associated with an unsafe gait demonstrable throughout the patients' stay. Conclusion: Unsafe gait was the only significant independent risk factor for falls among cognitively-impaired patients in a rehabilitation environment. Interventions that improve gait patterns or that enhance safety for patients with abnormal gait are required if fall reduction in this group of patients is to be achieved.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||confusion • dementia • elderly • falls • hospital|
|Subjects:||Technology > Medicine and Health > Medicine and Surgery|
|Group:||School of Health and Social Care > Centre for Postgraduate Medical Research and Education|
|Deposited By:||Prof Stephen Allen|
|Deposited On:||28 Feb 2010 18:09|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:21|
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