Validation of a Falls Risk Screening Tool Derived From InterRAI Acute Care Assessment

J Patient Saf. 2021 Dec 1;17(8):e1152-e1156. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000462.


Objectives: This study aimed to develop and validate a falls risk screening tool derived from interRAI Acute Care (AC) Assessment.

Methods: For derivation and validation, two prospective cohorts were recruited from AC hospitals in Australia. The derivation cohort comprised 1418 patients from 11 hospitals. In the validation cohort, 393 patients were recruited from four hospitals. The interRAI AC tool was used to collect comprehensive geriatric assessment data at admission. In-hospital falls were documented from medical records. A falls risk score was calculated using logistic regression. Predictive ability was compared with St. Thomas Risk Assessment Tool In Falling elderlY (STRATIFY), using area under curve (AUC). The validation cohort provided external validity.

Results: Complete data in the derivation cohort were available for 1288 patients (91%), with 75 (5.8%) having an in-hospital fall. The derived interRAI AC falls risk score (range = 0-6) had significantly better predictive ability (AUC = 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.63-0.76) compared with St. Thomas Risk Assessment Tool In Falling elderlY (AUC = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.58-0.70) (P = 0.033). At a cut point of three, 54 of 75 falls were correctly predicted by the falls risk score derived from interRAI AC (sensitivity = 0.72 [95% CI = 0.60-0.82] and specificity = 0.60 [95% CI = 0.57-0.62]). The falls risk score performed similarly in the validation cohort.

Conclusions: The falls risk tool developed from interRAI AC is a valid measure to screen for in-hospital falls. Reduction in assessment burden without loss of fidelity can be achieved through integrating the risk screener within the interRAI hospital system, which automatically triggers protocols for falls prevention based on identified risk.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls* / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment