Bedside Assessment of Fall Risk in Emergency Department Elders

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00590746
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 11, 2008
Last Update Posted : February 13, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jeffrey Caterino, Ohio State University

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to assess the risk for falls among elderly Emergency Department (ED) patients.This study will use 2 tests of balance, the Bertec Balance Screening Test and the "Up and Go" test. These tests measure how steady a person is while standing, walking, and turning 180 degrees. After patients have returned home, they will be contacted at 7 days, 30 days and 6 months to determine if they have sustained a fall during these intervals in order to find out how predictive the balance tests are in determining the risk of future falls.

Condition or disease
Accidental Falls

Detailed Description:
Falls are one of the most significant health risks to older Americans. In the U.S., 30-60% of community dwelling elders will fall each year.Studies have found rates of serious injury among elders who fall to range from 5-24%. Five percent of those who fall are hospitalized. Among elders, falls cause 2/3 of the deaths due to unintentional injury, the 6th leading cause of death in this age group. Additional major morbidity due to falls includes loss of independence as well as anxiety due to fear of falling. This results in limitation of function and often in a requirement for long-term care. Up to 40% of nursing home admissions are due to falls or fear of falling. Expenditures for fall-related injuries account for 6% of all medical expenditures in geriatric patients. Several interventions have been proven effective to reduce rates of fall. Implementation of these interventions requires physician appreciation of the risk for falls in individual patients. The emergency department (ED) may provide a location to identify patients at increased risk of falling. Unfortunately, successful ED based studies to identify and intervene on at-risk elders have been rare and not widely reproducible. The results of these previous ED studies demonstrate that a rapid, efficient, measurable assessment of balance is required if emergency physicians are to regularly consider such factors in their care plans and disposition decisions. Development of a single, simple screening test to identify ED elders at who fall may improve falls screening in the ED and prevent unnecessary morbidity and mortality by facilitating early identification and intervention.

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 53 participants
Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Bedside Assessment of Fall Risk in Emergency Department Elders
Study Start Date : December 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 2008
Actual Study Completion Date : September 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Falls

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. To determine the accuracy of the timed Timed Up-and-go test in the ED [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
  2. To determine the accuracy of the Bertec BalanceCheck Screener system in the ED. [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   60 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Patients aged 60 and older who present to the Ohio State University Medical Center Emergency Department

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age > 59 years
  • Discharge from Emergency Department
  • Self-reported weight < 300 pounds
  • Patient resides in the community or a personal care home
  • Patients must also confirm that they are able to walk 30 feet without help of another person.They may do this with use of an assistive device.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Age <60 years
  • Subject is incarcerated
  • Non-English speaking
  • Lack of ability of patient to give consent or complete the study tasks
  • Patient resides in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility
  • Primary evaluation by the trauma team
  • Inability to walk 30 feet without assistance from another person

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00590746

United States, Ohio
The Ohio State University Medical Center Emergency Department
Columbus, Ohio, United States, 43210
Sponsors and Collaborators
Jeffrey Caterino
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey M Caterino, MD Ohio State University

Responsible Party: Jeffrey Caterino, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University Identifier: NCT00590746     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2007H0239
First Posted: January 11, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 13, 2014
Last Verified: February 2014

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Disease Attributes
Pathologic Processes