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A risk assessment score predicted which elderly patients would fall during a hospital stay

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Question Can a risk assessment tool that uses information on risk factors easily collected by nurses in routine care predict which elderly hospital patients will fall?


A case control study to develop the tool and 2 cohort studies to validate it.


4 wards for elderly patients in a teaching hospital (development and local validation) and 2 acute and 4 rehabilitation wards of a general hospital (remote validation) in the UK.


For development of the tool, 116 patients (mean age 85 y) who had fallen (an incident in which a patient suddenly and involuntarily came to rest on the ground or surface lower than their original station) were matched with the patient in the …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For article reprint: Dr D Oliver, Department of Elderly Care (Division of Medicine), United Medical and Dental Schools, St Thomas's Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK. Fax +44 (0)171 928 2339.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in ACP Journal Club 1998 May-Jun and Evidence-Based Medicine 1998 May-Jun.