Emergency department fall-related presentations do not trigger fall risk assessment: a gap in care of high-risk outpatient fallers

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2005 Nov-Dec;41(3):311-7. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2005.04.008. Epub 2005 Jun 27.


We wanted to determine whether women aged 70 years and older, who presented to the emergency department (ED) with a fall and injury, received guideline care within 18 months of presentation. Women aged 70 years and older who presented to the ED with a fall were recorded prospectively from August 1, 2001 to May 1, 2002 (n=226). Structured telephone interviews were performed 18 months after the ED fall to obtain details of patient management (n=63). The most frequently reported referral was to the family physician (32%) and to physiotherapy (24%). We concluded that most older women who presented to the ED with a fall did not appear to be receiving current guideline care. We propose that future research use a prospective study design to assess whether or not guideline care is being delivered by a variety of health care providers after the patients leave the ED.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Outpatients / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires