Background: Falls during hospitalization harbor both clinical and financial outcomes. The modified Morse fall scale [MMFS] is widely used for an in-hospital risk-of-fall assessment. Nevertheless, the majority of patients at risk of falling, i.e. with high MMFS, do not fall. The aim of this study was to ascertain our study hypothesis that certain patients' characteristics (e.g. serum electrolytes, usage of a walking device etc.) could further stratify the risk of falls among hospitalized patients with MMFS. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort analysis of adult patients hospitalized in Internal Medicine departments. Results: The final cohort included 428 patients aged 76.8±14.0 years. All patients had high (9 or more) MMFS upon admission, and their mean MMFS was 16.2±6.1. A group of 139 (32.5%) patients who fell during their hospitalization was compared with a control group of 289 (67.5%) patients who did not fall. The fallers had higher MMFS, a higher prevalence of mild dependence, and a greater use of a cane or no walking device. Regression analysis showed the following patients' characteristics to be independently associated with an increased risk of falling: mild dependence (OR=3.99, 95% CI 1.97-8.08; p<0.0001), treatment by anti-epileptics (OR=3.9, 95% CI 1.36-11.18; p=0.011), treatment by hypoglycemic agents (OR=2.64, 95% CI 1.08-6.45; p= 0.033), and hypothyroidism (OR=3.66, 05%CI 1.62-8.30; p=0.002). In contrast to their role in the MMFS, the use of a walker or a wheelchair was found to decrease the risk of falling (OR=0.3, 95% CI 0.13-0.69; p=0.005 and OR=0.25, 95% CI 0.11-0.59; p= 0.002). Conclusions: Further risk stratification of hospitalized patients, already known to have a high MMFS, which would take into account the characteristics pointed out in this study, should be attained.
- Morse Fall Scale
- Risk stratification