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An epidemiological study of falls on integrated general medical wards.

Originally Published:
Key Point Summary
Key Point Summary Author(s):
Addie Abushousheh
Key Concepts/Context

Inpatient falls are common and may result in serious physical and psychological morbidity. In hospitals, quality of care is important for healthcare workers, patients, and their relatives. Falls and accidents are therefore an important risk management issue.


The objective of this study was to evaluate patient and ward characteristics relating to falls in an acute care setting.


In a prospective open observational study fall characteristics in two nuclear-designed wards (A and B) and a longitudinal ward (C) were examined.

Design Implications
Patients who are not oriented to their environment have an increased chance of falling. Close attention should be given to visibility and clutter-free environments that are navigable. 

The longitudinal ward (C) recorded significantly higher numbers of falls and event-positive days. Falls occurred more often close to the bedside (bed and chair) than in the other two radial wards. Ward C also recorded the most fallers over the study compared with the nuclear wards.


This study did not evaluate other ward configurations; therefore, the outcome generalizability is limited.

Design Category
Unit configuration and layout
Other healthcare facilities
Outcome Category
Fall related outcomes
Key Point Summary Author(s):
Addie Abushousheh
Primary Author
Vassallo, M.