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Falls in Hospitalized Children With Neurodevelopmental Conditions

A Cross-sectional, Correlational Study

Craig, Francesco, PhD; Castelnuovo, Rosanna, MSN, RN; Pacifico, Rossella, MSN, RN; Leo, Rosaria, MSN, RN; Trabacca, Antonio, MD BIM Falls Study Group*

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000112

Purpose The aim of the current study was to investigate in-hospital falls among children with neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions and investigated associated child characteristics.

Design A cross-sectional, correlational study design was used in this study. A total of 446 patients were enrolled in the study, of which 298 were admitted with neurological conditions and 148 with neurodevelopmental conditions.

Methods Intelligent quotient (IQ) was assessed according to age, and the Humpty Dumpty Falls Scale (HDFS) was completed and scored for each participant.

Findings The neurodevelopmental group showed higher HDFS total mean score (p = .001) compared to the neurological group. We found that fall rates are more frequent (p = .003) in the neurodevelopmental group (12.9%) compared with the neurological group (5.1%). In addition, we found that, in both groups, HDFS total mean score correlates negatively with children’s age, gender and IQ.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance The results of this study suggest that the fall prevention programs must be implemented in children with neurodevelopmental conditions, not only in children with neurological conditions.

Correspondence: Antonio Trabacca, Unit for Severe Disabilities in Developmental Age and Young Adults (Developmental Neurology and Neurorehabilitation), Scientific Institute I.R.C.C.S. “Eugenio Medea,” “La Nostra Famiglia,” Brindisi Research Centre, Brindisi, Italy 72100 (BR), Piazza Di Summa, presso ex Complesso Ospedaliero Regionale “A. Di Summa,” Brindisi, Italy. E-mail:

*Here are the members of BIM Falls Study Group: Elisabetta Lucarelli, MD, PhD, Isabella Fanizza, MD, Leonarda Gennaro, MD, Luciana Losito, MD, Maria Grazia Pasca, MD, Marta De Rinaldis, MD, Bellanova Katia, MSN, Carmela Marzio, MSN, Chianura Anna Rita, MSN, Epifani Cosimo, MSN, Frassanito Laura, MSN, Martucci Anna Maria, MSN, Mastromarino Pasqua, MSN, Nigro Cosima, MSN, and Saponaro Francesco, MSN.

Cite this article as: Craig, F., Castelnuovo, R., Pacifico, R., Leo, R., Trabacca, A., & Study Group (2018). Falls in hospitalized children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Rehabilitation Nursing, 43(6), 335–342. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000112

© 2018 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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