Clinical prediction of falls in the elderly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To assess the ability of physical and occupational therapists engaged in rehabilitation of the elderly to predict posttreatment falls. Design: Prospective cohort study of 15 mo in duration at an urban academic medical center rehabilitation unit. A total of 165 consecutively admitted geriatric individuals were rated for fall risk by 14 physical and seven occupational therapists. Measurements included the Mini-Mental State Examination, Geriatric Depression Scale, FIM™, and therapists' ratings of fall likelihood. Results: Both disciplines evidenced an ability to predict who would fall in the 3 mo after discharge. Clinical judgment regarding fall risk, however, added little value over two major predictors of future falls, fall history and the presence of a neurologic condition. Conclusion: Trying to predict an infrequent future event such as falls is inherently difficult. Education regarding known fall-risk factors and inclusion of standardized measurements of physical status are recommended to potentially improve rates of detection, along with adoption of a realistic attitude regarding our abilities to forecast infrequent events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume82
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

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Aptitude
Geriatrics
Rehabilitation
Physical Therapists
Nervous System
Cohort Studies
History
Prospective Studies
Depression
Education
Occupational Therapists

Keywords

  • Clinical Judgment
  • Falls
  • Prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Clinical prediction of falls in the elderly. / Ruchinskas, Robert.

In: American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 82, No. 4, 01.04.2003, p. 273-278.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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