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Fall Safety Agreement: A New Twist on Education in the Hospitalized Older Adult

Zavotsky, Kathleen MS, RN, CCRN, CEN, ACNS-BC; Hussey, JoAnn BSN, RN; Easter, Kathy MSN, RN, CCRN; Incalcaterra, Eleanor MS, APN, GNP-BC

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000046
Feature Article

Objective: The aim of this study was to further explore falls that occur in the elderly individuals (>65 years) in an academic medical center. This was done through secondary analysis of a preexisting falls database.

Background: All hospitalized patients are at risk for falls. As fall incidents have been shown to increase with age, it is critical to closely examine the risk factors affecting this vulnerable population.

Methods: A retrospective, quantitative, exploratory descriptive study design was used to analyze data from a preexisting falls database. Data were analyzed from patients 18 years or older and were separated into 2 separate groups: 18 to 64 years and 65 years or older.

Results: Overall, the results showed very little statistically significant differences in falls between the 2 age groups, although there was a statistically significant relationship between the presence of a fall safety agreement and fall injury severity.

Conclusion: This study suggests that providing appropriate structured fall education, in the form of a safety agreement, regardless of age, may reduce the degree of injury sustained.

Author Affiliation: Director, Nursing Research, Advanced Practice, and Education (Ms Zavotsky), Performance Improvement Coordinator (Ms Hussey), Magnet Program Director (Ms Easter), and Advance Practice Nurse, Gerontology (Ms Incalcaterra), Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Kathleen Zavotsky, MS, RN, CCRN, CEN, ACNS-BC, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, One Robert Wood Johnson Pl, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins