Falls in elderly patients are not treated according to national recommendations

M Lillevang-Johannsen, J Grand, M Lembeck, AK Giger, J Drozdowska, J Zajworoniuk-Wlodarczyk, A Gaj, E Holm

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate health professionals’ compliance with recommendations from the Danish Health Authority (DHA) concerning falls, to study the prevalence of acute hospital visits due to falls, and to compare characteristics of fall patients in two geographically and socioeconomically different areas of Denmark. Methods: The study was conducted in the emergency departments (ED) of Slagelse Hospital (SH) and Nykøbing Falster Hospital (NFH), both located in Denmark. Included were individuals > 50 years visiting the EDs from January 1 to March 31, 2014 who reported a fall. Information concerning demographic data and comorbidity in fall patients was retrieved from the medical records of the patients. Results: A total of 2,664 individuals > 50 years visited the EDs during the study period. In all, 1,100 individuals (41.2%) reported a fall. In the NFH 236 (44%) and in the SH 223 (39%) of the fall patients had a fracture (p = 0.049). Patients in the more socioeconomically deprived area covered by the NFH were younger and had higher fracture and heart failure rates. Only 2% of the medical records contained answers to all four questions recommended by the DHA for risk screening in fall patients. The number of medical records containing answers to any of the four questions ranged from 17.5% to 25.8%. Conclusions: Only few fall patients were screened according to DHA recommendations. ED staff’s adherence to guidelines concerning fall risk assessment is poor. Fall patients in a socioeconomically deprived area were younger and had higher fracture and heart failure incidences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5418
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Accidental Falls/statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Denmark
  • Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone/epidemiology
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Societies, Medical
  • Socioeconomic Factors


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