This paper reports on a 3-month post-discharge falls profile of a cohort of patients discharged home from an acute rehabilitation setting.
A consecutively-sampled cohort of consenting patients was prospectively followed for 3 months after discharge from a large Australian metropolitan acute rehabilitation facility.
Patients were diagnostically classified by the reason for admission.
All patients completed a monthly falls diary.
Each month, falls were described by severity, location, frequency and outcome.
Patients also completed the World Health Organisation's quality of life (QoL-BREF) at Months 1 and 3.
Almost a third of the study participants fell during the study [105 fallers of 342 total (31%)]. Of these, 21 fell more than once (20%). There were significant differences in falls reported per diagnostic group, including frequency, impact, severity and ability to get up.
Irrespective of diagnostic group, fallers had lower QoL scores compared to non-fallers. Both the neurological and orthopaedic trauma groups were most at risk of falling in Months 1 and 3, whereas in Month 2, only the neurological group was most at risk of falling.
Falls are a fact of life for some patients during their community rehabilitation phase.
Patients from different diagnostic groups have different over-time risk profiles for falling. Thus, there is no 'one-size fits all' solution for falls prevention.
This study provides useful data to assist in formulating appropriate falls prevention strategies for recently ill people.
Disability and rehabilitation
University of South Australia, Centre for Allied Health Evidence, North Terrace, Adelaide, Australia.
Disabil Rehabil. 2010 ;32(16):1354-63
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