Fall risk assessment tools

Maria Costa-Dias, Pedro Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Accidental falls remain the most reported incidents in hospital settings. This is a quality and safety issue for the patient which needs to be addressed by the hospital organisation. Nurses need to assess the risk of falling using scales. However, nurses are sometimes unsure of what is the most appropriate tool. Objective: To provide information on the two most commonly used scales for assessing the risk of falling, i.e., the St Thomas’s Risk Assessment Tool in Falling Elderly Inpatients (STRATIFY) and the Morse Fall Scale (MFS). Main topics for analysis: The fall risk assessment tools which were the subject of more systematic reviews and prospective validation in two or more cohorts, with appropriate tests to predict their validity, were analysed. The review concluded that both scales identify patients who are at risk of falling based on their intrinsic or clinical characteristics. Conclusion: Hospitals should use scales which have already been developed and tested for data comparison. These scales should be culturally and linguistically adapted, and validated for the Portuguese language.
Translated title of the contributionEscalas de avaliação de risco de quedas
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


  • Accidental falls
  • Hospital services
  • Adult
  • Scales


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