Validating Fall Prevention Icons to Support Patient-Centered Education

J Patient Saf. 2021 Aug 1;17(5):e413-e422. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000354.


Introduction: Falls with injury are the most prevalent hospital adverse event. The objective of this project was to refine fall risk and prevention icons for a patient-centric bedside toolkit to promote patient and nurse engagement in accurately assessing fall risks and developing a tailored fall prevention plan.

Methods: Eighty-eight patients and 60 nurses from 2 academic medical centers participated in 4 iterations of testing to refine 6 fall risk and 10 fall prevention icons. During individual interviews, participants rated their satisfaction with the degree to which that icon represented the concept on a 4-point Likert scale, enabling computation of a Content Validity Index (CVI), and provided comments and suggestions for improvement. After reviewing CVI scores and feedback, the research team consulted with the illustrator to revise the icons.

Results: Content Validity Index scores improved after icon modifications. Icons that depicted multiple concepts required further iterations to be acceptable.

Discussion: Using icons to depict an accurate and easy-to-interpret fall risk assessment and intervention plan for all care team members including patients and family to follow should lead to improved adherence with that plan and decreased falls.

Conclusions: All 16 icons were refined and used to form the basis for a bedside fall prevention toolkit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls* / prevention & control
  • Hospitals*
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care