Study of the cut-off point of the Morse Fall Scale (MFS)

Maria Costa-Dias, Teresa Martins, Fátima Araújo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Theoretical framework: The Morse Fall Scale (MFS) is a scale for assessing fall risk. It is designed for adults and widely used in Portugal. The scale should be calibrated for each particular setting so that fall prevention strategies are targeted to patients most at risk. Objective: To analyse the cut-off point of the scale that best distinguishes between people with and without fall risk in a hospital inpatient setting. Methodology: The receiver operator curve (ROC) was used to determine the optimal cut-off point. The predictive validity of the MFS was assessed through sensitivity and specificity, positive and negative predictive values, the ROC area under the curve (AUC) and also the Youden Index.
Results: The cut-off point of 45 was identified as the optimal cut-off value, where 78% of the participants were identified as true positives and 22% as false negatives. It presented an OR of 3.8 (95%CI=2.17-6.51). Conclusion: The MFS is a good instrument for identifying patients with high fall risk in hospital settings, particularly in medical and surgical, long-term and palliative care inpatient wards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2014


  • Accidental falls
  • Risk management
  • Hospital services


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