Aim: To evaluate currently available paediatric falls assessments instruments and to build a predictive fall model while also evaluating injury risk as a predictor of fall likelihood within the paediatric inpatient population.
Background: There is lack of paediatric-specific fall assessment instruments and little information on the exploration of injury risk as related to falls in hospitalized children.
Method: An ambispective, matched case-control design conducted in a sample of 100 inpatient paediatric patients. Results Two out of five instruments performed well to classify children at risk of falls. Longer length of stay, bleeding cautions/blood disorders and temperament/behaviour issues were significant predictors of fall likelihood. Cognitive impairment or neurological disease was not related to an increased likelihood of fall or injury risk for this sample.
Conclusions: More research is required to institute and standardize paediatric fall and injury risk assessments for everyday use. The explicit approach of using predictive modelling is critical in creating a universal, baseline reference for the most reliable and valid measure of assessment in children.
Implications for nursing management: Findings of the present study increase awareness of nursing managers and leaders as to the necessity for fall and injury risk assessment as a safety and quality measure for inpatient paediatric populations.