Date of Award
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Accidental Falls -- prevention & control; Health Personnel; Occupational Health; Risk Assessment
Background and Purpose: Due to the increasing age of the working population, falls are becoming an escalating problem especially in the healthcare industry. The purpose of this research study is to develop a cost effective quick screen to determine fall risk in healthcare employees. Our overall goal is to take the results gained from this pilot study and apply them on a larger scale in hopes of preventing falls thus decreasing dollars spent by companies on work injury.
Subjects: Volunteers from a local Health Care System. Inclusion criteria: permanent employees, over the age of 20, without an assistive device. A total of 76 subjects were included in the sample, age range from 22 to 66 years of age.
Methods: Subjects were tested in four balance measures including: the five times sit to stand test (FTSST), single leg stance test (SLST), tandem walking, and the functional reach . Relationships of balance measures and fall history were performed using crosstabulations. Chi-square analysis and independent measures t-test were used with an alpha level of .05 for nominal data. Within the crosstabulations, the standardized residual was used to identify which cells contributed most to the significant chi-square and was set at ~ 11.961 .
Results: Pearson chi square tests of independence showed no significant relationships between the individual balance measures and subject's fall history. Medication use illustrated similar trends as in current literature, but was not statistically significant.
Discussion and Conclusion: The results of this study did not confirm any one balance measure that would be a good predictor of falls to include in a fall risk assessment in healthcare employees. Due to limited sample size, investigating a relationship between a combination of multiple tests and fall history was not feasible. However, due to the limitations of this study, and the amount of literature that is available confirming that many of these assessments predict fall risk, additional investigation is necessary. Although we did not achieve the desired results, further studies directed towards the development of a quick screen for fall risk in Healthcare employees are warranted in order to attempt to decrease falls in the workplace.
Borboa, Patricia; Hansen, Emily; Hoeft, Jessica; and Holzer, Alicia, "A Pilot Study to Screen Fall Risk in Adult Health Care Employees" (2007). Physical Therapy Scholarly Projects. 57.