Factors associated with falls in hospitalized adult patients

Jill Cox, Charlotte Thomas-Hawkins, Edmund Pajarillo, Susan DeGennaro, Edna Cadmus, Miguel Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite efforts in hospitals to identify patients at risk for falls and to prevent these incidents, falls among hospitalized patients are not a rare event and continue to be a major health care concern, occurring in approximately 700,000-1,000,000 hospitalized patients per year. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine intrinsic, extrinsic, and workforce factors that contribute to falls among hospitalized adult patients. Methods: A retrospective correlational design was used to examine 160 patients admitted to a medical-surgical unit over the year 2012. Analytical weighting was applied to the study sample to conduct bivariate and multivariate analysis. Findings: In multivariate analysis, the variables age, narcotic/sedative use, and overnight shift, significantly predicted the likelihood of a fall during the hospitalization. Cardiovascular disease, neuromusculoskeletal disease, evening shift, the implementation of fall prevention strategies and higher RN to unlicensed assistive personnel staffing ratios decreased the likelihood of a fall during the hospitalization. In addition, patients at high risk for falls using the Hendrich I fall scale were nearly 17% more likely to fall during the hospitalization. Conclusions: Many factors influence the occurrence of a fall in hospitalized patients. Fall risk assessment and the implementation of fall prevention strategies are both effective strategies in the clinical area to identify and decrease the probability of a fall. The presence of the RN is significant in fall prevention in medical-surgical patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-82
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)


  • Falls
  • Hospitalized adults
  • Risk factors

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