Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Project Title: Falls and Fall Protocols in the Care of Older Adults: A Comparison of Inpatient and Community Dwelling Veterans

Background: There is currently no literature that compares fall risks and fall prevention protocols among community dwelling and institutionalized elderly veterans.

Objective: This research project aims to eliminate this literature gap by utilizing a retrospective descriptive design to analyze existing health records of veterans from the St. Cloud Veterans Administration Health Care System (VAHS).

Method: This purpose of this study was to compare fall risk factors for inpatients and outpatient veterans. A repeated measure, retrospective record review was used. Veterans 65 and over with ICD-9 codes for risk for falls were included in the sample. The study sample included 145 older veterans (65+) who received care in inpatient and outpatient settings associated with the St. Cloud VAHS and older veterans living in VA nursing homes or assisted living settings. The sample had ICD-9 codes for fall risk. Frequencies and chi-square analyses were used to address the research hypothesis.

Results: No significant differences were found in calculated fall risk between inpatient (institutionalized) and outpatient (community dwelling) veterans. No consistent documented fall risk or fall assessment protocols are currently being utilized at the research site; further research is required to analyze fall risk protocol utilization and clinical significance of fall risk scores among inpatient and outpatient veterans.

Comments

Advisors: Kathy Twohy and Denise Meijer

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Nursing Commons

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