A simple tool predicted probability of falling after aged care inpatient rehabilitation

J Clin Epidemiol. 2011 Jul;64(7):779-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2010.09.015. Epub 2011 Jan 19.


Objective: To develop and internally validate a falls prediction tool for people being discharged from inpatient aged care rehabilitation.

Study design and setting: Prospective cohort study. Possible predictors of falls were collected for 442 aged care rehabilitation inpatients at two hospitals.

Results: One hundred fifty participants fell in the 3 months after discharge from rehabilitation (34% of 438 with follow-up data). Predictors of falls were male gender (odds ratio [OR] 2.32, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.00-4.03), central nervous system medication prescription (OR 2.04, 95% CI=1.00-3.30), and increased postural sway (OR 1.93, 95% CI=1.00-3.26). This three-variable model was adapted for clinical use by unit weighting (i.e., a score of 1 for each predictor present). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for this tool was 0.69 (95% CI=0.64-0.74, bootstrap-corrected AUC=0.69). There was no evidence of lack of fit between prediction and observation (Hosmer-Lemeshow P=0.158).

Conclusion: After external validation, this simple tool could be used to quantify the probability with which an individual will fall in the 3 months after an aged care rehabilitation stay. It may assist in the discharge process by identifying high-risk individuals who may benefit from ongoing assistance or intervention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls*
  • Aftercare*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Discharge
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Probability
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Risk Assessment