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. 1995 May;26(5):838-42.
doi: 10.1161/01.str.26.5.838.

Patient Falls in Stroke Rehabilitation. A Challenge to Rehabilitation Strategies

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Patient Falls in Stroke Rehabilitation. A Challenge to Rehabilitation Strategies

L Nyberg et al. Stroke. .

Abstract

Background and purpose: The risk of falls is very high among stroke patients, and falling is a major complication in stroke rehabilitation. This study aimed to investigate the incidence, characteristics, and consequences of falls in an inpatient stroke rehabilitation setting.

Methods: One hundred sixty-one patients consecutively admitted to a geriatric stroke rehabilitation unit were studied. Falls that occurred during their rehabilitation stay were prospectively registered and analyzed.

Results: Sixty-two of the patients (39%) suffered falls. The total number of falls was 153, which corresponds to an incidence rate of 159 falls per 10,000 patient-days. Most falls occurred during transfers or from sitting in a wheelchair or on some other kind of furniture. Seventeen falls (11%) were classified as the result of extrinsic mechanisms, 49 (32%) were intrinsic falls, 39 (25%) occurred in a nonbipedal position (while sitting or lying), and 48 falls (31%) remained unclassified. No injury was observed in 109 of 153 incidents (71%), whereas 6 falls (4%) involved fractures or other serious injury.

Conclusions: Since falls are so frequent, they must be considered a significant problem in stroke rehabilitation. Fall prevention strategies should therefore be developed and included in rehabilitation programs.

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