Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Evelyn T. Peterson


This study examined the prospective use of a falls risk index. The research question was: To what extent do the intrinsic factors identified in the Tinetti et al. falls risk index predict which patients are likely to experience a fall. Hogue's ecological model of falls in late life provided a conceptual framework for the study.
Direct observation was used to collect baseline data from a convenience/purposive sample of 26 male patients in a midwest nursing home care unit with a rehabilitation focus. Patients were then assigned to one of three risk groups: yes-fall, 30% chance of fall, no-fall. Reports of patient falls were reviewed during the following four months. Data were analyzed by discriminant analysis and frequency tables.
Actual occurrences were demonstrated to be consistent with predicted occurrences in the frequency tabulation, and 23/26 Participants were classified correctly by discriminant analysis. There are several considerations in the interpretation of this data: (1) over half the sample was in the predicted middle—risk group (30% chance of falls) which has limited clinical usefulness, (2) the discriminant analysis equation was developed from study data, and (3) no variable contributed significantly to risk of falling in the stepwise entrance of variables analysis.
Nonetheless, predictability of the extremes (yes-fall or no-fall) using reproducible scales to evaluate risk factors was demonstrated, and may be useful clinically as well as in other studies of patient falls.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Falls (Accidents) -- Research
Nursing home patients -- Accidents -- Research
Older people -- Wounds and injuries



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted

Included in

Nursing Commons